Jessica's Reviews > Stargirl

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
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Oct 04, 11

Read from September 28 to October 04, 2011

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is an amazing and truly inspiring story about what it means to be yourself. In this story, formerly-named Susan Caraway, who now goes by her self-chosen name Stargirl, makes quite an impression by her unique and exotic behaviors when she first arrives at Mica Area Senior High School. The reader soon realizes "Stargirl" is not even the most bizzare name she has had in the past. While being questioned by her peers on her name choice, Stargirl does not react to the stares she gets when she explains, "first I named myself Pocket Mouse...then Mudpie...then HullyGully...then Stargirl." Not only were her name choices unique, Stargirl has a unique way of showing care and affection for other individuals in such extreme ways, such as singing happy birthday to complete strangers, or handing out cookies on a regular basis to the entire cafeteria. At first, she is the most popular girl in school because of how eccentric and friendly and happy she is. However, that quickly changes when majority of the school sees her "love for everyone" attitude as distrust to their inner circle of friends, for example when Stargirl dashes to the aid of a member of an opposing team against her school during a basketball game, when she is in fact a Mica Area High School cheerleader. Before she can even realize it, she is completeley shunned and neglected by everyone in the school, except for one loyal friend names Dori. Also, her favorite boy in the whole school, Leo sticks by her side in the beginning. Leo at first, like the other classmates, falls in love with Stargirl's unique personality. However, when he realizes that being so closely associated with Stargirl gets him "shunned and neglected" as well, he tries to force normalcy and change upon her. Leo struggles with an internal conflict of choosing between his friends and staying with Stargirl. When he seeks the advice of a former teacher/mentor Archie, Archie proposes the question, "Whose affection do you value more, hers or the others'? Leo doesn't pay much attention to this question until it is too late and he can no longer take back the things he has said. Will Stargirl conform? Will she stay with Leo, even though he cannot seem to accept her for who she is? This story a great way to remind students that being different can be a great thing, and when someone tells you different, you should ignore what they think and do what makes you happy. I absolutely loved this story and recommend it to any children, as well as adults.
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