Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

How I Heard About It:  This novel came to me via the publisher.  I was excited to read as I had heard and read such positives reviews of the book.  

What It Is About:   What are the odds of being struck by lightning?  They aren't great, but a lightning strike actually happened to Lucy.  It occurred when she was a young girl and she doesn't remember it.  One of the major "side effects" of this strike is that Lucy now has incredible math skills.  She is only twelve years old, but is performing at the college level.  Since the accident, she has been home schooled by her grandmother.  Her uncle is also part of her life, but not on a day to day basis.  Lucy's grandmother's decides she wants her  to experience "regular" school and asks her to attend middle-school for one year.  After that, she can decide what type of schooling she would be most comfortable with.  Lucy isn't thrilled, but is willing to give it a try.  Once at school, she finds it very difficult to fit in and to hide her "striking knowledge" along with some of her OCD behaviors.  Lucy finds a couple of kids that are willing to accept her as she is, along with a few that makes this new experience quite difficult.  During a class project, Lucy truly learns who are the kids who accept her for who she is, and who are the ones she wants to stay clear of.  

What I Thought Of It:  This story was fascinating to me.  I enjoyed reading about Lucy and the circumstances she found herself in after the lightning strike.  I felt such compassion and empathy for her.  It is hard enough to deal with the middle-school years.  Then you add some "brilliant" behaviors along with OCD, and life can really offer you a punch.  Stacy McAnulty did a tremendous job of describing Lucy's journey, emotions, and struggles.  I can't say enough about the grandmother and uncle characters.  Everyone young person needs these two people in their lives.  I enjoyed the presentation of a variety of young characters and appreciated how real they were to real-life.  

Who Should Read It:   Readers in grades four, five, and six would be the perfect audience for this novel.  If you know of a young person that struggles with OCD and/or having extreme academic knowledge in a particular area, then they must read this novel.  The story would also be appealing to middle-school readers.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars!

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