STARRED REVIEW
May 08, 2018

A tween crunches the numbers on surviving middle school

By Stacy McAnulty
Review by

Lucy can’t remember the moment when lightning struck her four years ago, but now the 12-year-old has a gift for numbers. Her favorite is pi, and she can recite the digits o the 314th decimal place. While her doctors call her condition acquired savant syndrome, Lucy just knows she’s a reclusive genius with obsessive-compulsive disorder who’d rather hang out in online math chat rooms than leave her house.

Share this Article:

Lucy can’t remember the moment when lightning struck her four years ago, but now the 12-year-old has a gift for numbers. Her favorite is pi, and she can recite the digits to the 314th decimal place. While her doctors call her condition acquired savant syndrome, Lucy just knows she’s a reclusive genius with obsessive-compulsive disorder who’d rather hang out in online math chat rooms than leave her house.

After finishing all of her homeschool requirements needed to graduate, the tween thinks she’s ready for online college. Her perhaps even wiser Nana, who’s raised her since Lucy’s mother died, thinks differently. In Stacy McAnulty’s electrifying debut middle grade novel, Lucy unwillingly heads to seventh grade. She knows it’s going to be a long year, but when a school service project at a local animal shelter forces the math whiz to interact with other socially awkward kids, she begins to solve a problem that seems to defy logic—making friends.

And when a dirty dog with its own special condition needs saving, Lucy feels a bolt of kindness and empathy as she finds she has other gifts besides math. Filled with numbers—including a concluding math section on pi and Fibonacci facts—the ups and downs of middle school and gentle humor, this story of Lucy’s struggles and newfound answers will resonate with anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider. And hasn’t every middle schooler?

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!