The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl (Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews

I could not put it down. The book is about a girl named Lucy who, thanks to a freak lightning strike many years ago, acquired genius level math abilities. Her grandmother, concerned about Lucy and her rather isolated life, spending her free time on math websites, has insisted that Lucy spend one year navigating middle school and making friends her age,before she can skip ahead to enroll at college. Lucy’s obsessive-compulsive quirks and observations of middle school are charming and humorous. I enjoyed the author’s insertion of mathematical concepts and talked about them with my math loving son. This was such a great book and I hope that Sarah McAnulty writes a sequel so that readers can find out what happens next for Lucy and her friends.

— Teacher at Colorow Elementary in Littleton, CO

December 1969 Indie Next List

“Lucy is definitely not your average 12-year-old. Though a lightning strike four years ago left her basically unharmed, it rendered her a mathematical savant with some compulsive behaviors. When Lucy is forced to attend middle school, she does not fit in and struggles to be accepted. She finds solace and friendship among a couple of her classmates and a very special dog. A charming and delightful story about overcoming obstacles and ultimately finding your place in the world.”
— Anita Isser, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR


A lightning strike gave her a super power...but even a super genius can't solve the problem of middle school. This smart and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by Sevens.

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 homeschooled. 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 superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?

A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty's smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different.

"An engaging story, full of heart and hope. Readers of all ages will root for Lucy, aka Lightning Girl. No miscalculations here " --Kate Beasley, author of Gertie's Leap to Greatness

About the Author

Stacy McAnulty is the author of many books for young readers, including chapter book series The Dino Files and GoldieBlox and picture books including Excellent Ed, 101 Reasons Why I'm NOT Taking a Bath, and Beautiful. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl is her middle-grade debut. A former mechanical engineer, Stacy writes about math and science with authority. Visit her online at or follow her on social media at: Twitter: @stacymcanultyInstagram: StacyMcAnultyFacebook: StacyMcAnultyAuthor

Product Details
ISBN: 9781524767587
ISBN-10: 1524767581
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 1st, 2018
Pages: 304
Language: English