The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
Written by Stacy McAnulty

Publisher’s Summary:
A lightning strike made Lucy, twelve, a math genius but, after years of homeschooling, her grandmother enrolls her in middle school and she learns that life is more than numbers.

Primary Source Pairing:
For Lucy, there are numbers and math everywhere she looks. The world is presented through this lens and it makes sense to her. Unfortunately, not everything comes as easy to Lucy as Pi, prime numbers, and mental math. Although good friendships do help those parts of life that are not as easy, and among many other experiences at middle school, Lucy learns this most of all. For this primary source pairing, use a photograph of a sunflower depicting the a swirl pattern in a beautiful example of the Fibonacci sequence in nature. Lucy loves the Fibonacci sequence, and this sunflower makes it easy for readers to appreciate too. Learn more about the Fibonacci sequence on Stacy McAnulty’s website:

Questions for Discussion:

  • What do you notice first?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
  • What do you notice that you can’t explain?
  • Make a connection to something you observe in the photograph and something you read in the book The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl.
  • Consider Lucy’s love for math and make a text connection to the Fibonacci sequence and this photograph of a sunflower.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
A Sunflower forming seeds in a prominent swirly pattern and a stunning example of the Fibonacci sequence in nature, photograph:

Additional Resources:
Stacy McAnulty’s website featuring The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl resources, including chapters read aloud: