Debbie's Reviews > Stargirl

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
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Sep 20, 07

bookshelves: modern-teen
Read in November, 2007

When Stargirl Caraway shows up at Leo's small town high school in a pioneer skirt and toting a ukulele and a pet rat, no one knows what to make of her. She sets up her desk in each class with a tablecloth and a flower in a vase. She sings Happy Birthday to people in the cafeteria. At basketball games she cheers for everyone who makes a basket, no matter what team they are on.

Her disconcerting unconventionality makes us question her reality. And then, as we come to accept it, it makes us question our own. Do we say the things we say, do the things we do, based on what we really are and believe or on what we think others expect us to say or do?

I liked Leo and found him easy to relate to. In a way, he is in the best position to narrate Stargirl's high school experience. Since they were so close, he got to know and appreciate who she really was. But the part of him that also cared about what other people thought wanted her to become more like the other girls. I liked that Jerry Spinelli shows how we as humans often aren't rational but are pleasantly (or unpleasantly) jumbled, how we can insist that we want two things at the same time even if those things are incompatible.

In an author interview in the back of my copy, Jerry Spinelli talks about how his wife is like Stargirl. I liked that.

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