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Stargirl :: Book Review

When we tell you this book is a real hit with kids all over the place, you may be confused. You may not recognize the title or remember seeing it before. Well, we don’t blame you. Because instead of writing out the title with words, the author, Jerry Spinelli, decided to represent it with two pictures: a small yellow star above a stick-figure girl.


A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
Don’t worry. The pictures-in-place-of-words end after you open the front cover. The rest of the story is written with actual letters from the alphabet. And thank goodness for that, because it is a REALLY good story!


The Story
Leo Borlock has never met anyone like 15-year-old Stargirl Caraway, and neither has anyone else at Mica Area High School. She dances around the cafeteria playing a ukulele, carries her pet rat Cinnamon around in a sunflower canvas bag and never misses a chance to sing "Happy Birthday." She doesn't act right, she dresses weird and she’s never afraid to be herself. Soon enough, Stargirl becomes the most popular girl at school. And Leo is in love.


As a couple, Leo and Stargirl are inseparable, and Leo learns all sorts of amazing (and strange) things about his girlfriend. And then, just as quickly as she became popular, the kids at school start shunning Stargirl. She’s different from them so they decide she isn’t worth talking to anymore. Since Leo is Stargirl's boyfriend, the entire school starts to make him an outcast, too.


And so Leo finds himself facing a really tough dilemma. Which does he want more – to spend time with his girlfriend or to be accepted by his friends and classmates at school? He finally works up the courage to explain his problem to Stargirl. He tells her no one likes her and he’s not sure if he can handle being with her anymore.


After Leo opens up to her, Stargirl becomes “Susan” – a girl just like every other girl at school. The transformation only lasts a few days, and Leo later learns that Stargirl did it for him, because she cares about him so much. Even so, Leo doesn’t take Stargirl to the Ocotillo ball – in fact, he doesn’t go at all.


The day after the ball, Stargirl moves out of town, and the choice that Leo makes impacts him for the rest of his life.


We Heart Stargirl - And So Will You
This book has a lot to do with popularity and the challenge that so many kids and teens face in having to choose whether to be, act, look, dress and think a certain way just to fit in, or to just be themselves. It’s a hard choice – an impossible choice at times. If you’ve ever felt torn about something like this yourself, Stargirl is a must-read.


Related Stories:

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  • Dear Dish-It: I’m Too Emotional
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