Book Review: Stargirl

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Written by Jerry Spinelli 
Published May 14, 2002 by Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Topics: School Situations, Young Love, Individuality
Young Adult, 208 pages 

Stargirl is unlike any girl at Mica High School, because she doesn’t try to be like “them”. Instead, Stargirl is only content to be herself. As soon as she arrives at Mica her name is whispered in the hallways and she gets curious stares from classmates, because she’s nothing like “them”. Stargirl wears long skirts, plays a ukulele, sings Happy Birthday to everyone, and even brings her pet rat named Cinnamon to school. Stargirl is also sincere and deeply cares for others without seeking acknowledgment.  Students begin to wonder if she notices the stares and if she’ll ever become more like them.

Opinions about Stargirl gradually change at Mica High as she’s admired. People desire to see her unique spirit at sporting games. However, events occur and just as fast as people grow to appreciate her it’s suddenly taken away again.

The book is told from Leo Borlock’s perspective who is torn between amazement that Stargirl doesn’t conform to others and desires that she act more like “them”. A love between Leo and Stargirl slowly develops, but Leo is often unsure if he can handle the stares as well. However, Stargirl doesn’t do “normal” well.

I thought Stargirl was an enjoyable book that makes you think about what’s truly important. Is it more important to dare to be different or be among many? Jerry Spinelli is a Newbery Medal Winner for Maniac Magee. There is a sequel, Love, Stargirl, that is from her perspective a year later. Stargirl won numerous awards including ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults in 2001.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Stargirl

    thiskidreviewsbooks said:
    March 18, 2012 at 4:18 am

    WOW! Another Jerry Spinelli book! The book sound like it has a great message about being yourself! I like that!

      Caroline responded:
      March 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Well, I found a new author I enjoy and wanted to read his books. I’ll have to read a book by his wife now, since you’ve mentioned great things. You’re correct the book does have a positive message.

    Judy said:
    March 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Sounds like a great book!

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