THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTENING GIRL by Stacy McAnulty: An Excellent “Surviving Middle School” Novel

The Miscalculations of Lightening Girl by Stacy McAnulty

Meet reluctant middle school student Lucy, aka Lightening Girl.  Her family nickname comes from her terrifying experience being hit by a bolt of lightening–and surviving.  The lightening jolt gives her a super-power of sorts:  acquired math genius.  Ever since, she’s been home-schooled, and now is ready for college, at least academically.  But her wise grandmother who is raising her wants her to grow in other ways as well, and throws down the gauntlet: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that’s not a math textbook!).  Lucy’s experience is difficult, yet fulfilling as she makes friends and discovers new interests and capabilities.  But she also must deal with social issues such as  mean girls, and deciding whom to trust.  Her OCD rituals are sensitively handled, as well as her true love of the beauty of numbers.  The dialogue of all the characters ring true, and I appreciated the details of her growing friendship with both Windy and Levi.  Some intriguing twists and turns in the plot line, with heart-wrenching surprises.  Highly recommended!

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