Book: Stargirl

Author: Jerry Spinelli

Rating: 4.5/5

Stargirl-Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl is a new student at Mica High School. She is different from everyone else, the way she dresses, acts and sings. She stands out. Stargirl is nice to everyone and joins cheerleading at school. As the story develops, Leo gradually starts to involve romantically with Stargirl. Unfortunately, as their relationship develops people started to isolate them. As Leo gets to know Stargirl more, he learns that not only does she see things differently, but she also internalizes and feels them. She pays attention to things and does nice things such as giving out cards to people. Leo struggles emotionally as he loves Stargirl but at the same time he wants her to be more normal so both of them can fit in. Under Leo’s persuasion, Stargirl started to change to “normal”. She changed her name back to Susan, started acting like the other girls, and all her quirks are vanishing. However, after winning at the oratorical competition, Stargirl changes back to Stargirl again. Some dramas happen at the ball, and since then Stargirl disappears. Stargirl has a lasting influence on the narrator Leo even years after he has last seen her.

Social/Historical context:

The time setting for the story is modern time. The story takes place in a American high school and is something that can happen to all teenagers. The book’s message are shown through several themes. First being uniqueness. Throughout the story, Stargirl struggles between being herself and changing herself to normal (for Leo), in the end, she still chose to be her true self. This shows the importance of one’s uniqueness and truly being oneself. As the story has a high school setting, the second theme involves peer pressure and high school drama. Although peer pressure can do a lot, it is still important to be the people we truly are, as relating back to the first theme. The third theme involves seeing and feeling things. Understanding people and things in a different way like Stargirl did, caring for people and doing nice things, are all messages the author wanted to express. We can be so mechanized at looking and thinking at times, it’s definitely helpful to have a different perspective.

Writing Style:

This story is told in first person narrative, from Leo’s point of view. It is written in more casual language and the tone sounds like an eleventh grader. This way of writing makes the story appear more realistic.

My Thoughts:

I believe everyone has a different personality and uniqueness in them, and that it’s important we recognize those traits and feel proud to present them. I was really happy when Stargirl changed back because that’s who she really is. I also really liked her hobbies such as giving cards to random people at the mall, checking the newspaper to see what people like and gave them presents. All the tiny heart-warming things we don’t usually think of doing. She reminds me to remember all the positive things in life, as well as a habit of my own which I haven’t really been keeping up with. The habit is simple and basically I would write down two things in the morning, first being something I look forward to for the day, and second being something I need to try hard to do. Later that night I would check again and reflect on the day. This habit creates a better sense of purpose for each day and I should start keeping up with it more.

Book Reviewed By Elena W.

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