The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty ★★★★☆ #BookReview #BookBlog


Primary Genre(s): Fiction, Middle Grade
Published: 1 May 2018 by Random House
Page count: 294
My Format: Audiobook via Overdrive
Cover: Math!
Pacing: Good
Ending: Good
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

My rating: ★★★☆

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn’t remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been home-schooled. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test — middle school!

Lucy’s grandma insists: 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 not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her super-powered brain. The equation of Lucy’s life has already been solved. Unless there’s been a miscalculation?

My Thoughts
Lucy is smart enough to go to college at age 12, but her Nana wants to put her in middle school for one year to have some normal experiences. But can a math savant have a normal experience? Here are my pros and cons for The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl:


  1. This is a unique look into acquired savant syndrome that is typically brought on by a head injury (in this case, a lightning strike). Lucy survived the lightning strike and became a math genius and synesthete. She also appears to have obsessive compulsive tendencies, but I don’t think the book attributed that specifically to her lightning strike.
  2. The writing is well-suited for the intended audience. It is relatable and genuine.
  3. Short chapters.
  4. Math! This book has math and equations and it treats pi reverently! I loved it!
  5. The cover has math equations all over it! What’s not to love about that!?
  6. The story is emotional! Most middle-grade students stress over all kinds of things and the girls and boys in this story are no exception. Friendships are forged and then tested, tempers flare, assumptions are made, events are misinterpreted, heartstrings are pulled, and lessons are learned.
  7. I loved the introduction of animals into the story.
  8. The math teacher! I love any book that emphasizes a great teacher who inspires their students and is just a darn good person to boot!
  9. While math is an important aspect of Lucy’s life, the relationships she develops in this story are what ultimately make the book great.


  1. I hate the mean girl trope. I really despise it. Sadly, the trope exists because mean girls exist.

Simply put, the moral of this story is to appreciate the things that make us unique! Our differences may be quirky and perhaps even difficult to understand, but we shouldn’t close ourselves off or hide our differences from others and we should never belittle someone else because of their differences.

I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old, that has ever felt like they never quite fit in.

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing this book through this link: Buy The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

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