The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl: 11/17/18
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty opens with Lucy Callahan explaining how she became a numbers wiz after being struck by lightening. The experience also left her struggling to have normal interactions with people so her grandmother chose to homeschool her. Now circumstances in her family life have changed and she's being sent to middle school.
My biggest problem with this book is its set up. Other than the lightening strike, the way Lucy describes herself and her relationship to numbers reads like it was cribbed off Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet, down to the colors of the numbers and the landscape of pie.
Basically the book doesn't need that set up. She doesn't even need to have been struck by lightning to have the nickname lightning girl. Just let her be lightning fast at numbers. Let her be autistic and OCD just because she is.
After all the set up, the book comes down to Lucy being paired with Levi, a boy who is struggling with math. They have to put together for a plan uses math and is a social service project to benefit the community. They come up with a pet rescue. Levi gets to use his love and knowledge of animals and Lucy gets to crunch numbers and basically do the SWOT analysis for the project.
Short version is: I liked the interaction of Lucy and Levi. I liked their project. I didn't for an instant believe Lucy's backstory save for the bits that were clearly either inspired by or plagiarized from Daniel Tammet's memoir.