Summary and book reviews of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl

by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli X
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 176 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2002, 192 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

A celebration of nonconformity; a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity--and the thrill and inspiration of first love. Ages 12+

Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don't stand out--under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes--for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body.

But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl's arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her.

In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity--and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

Recommended for Ages 12+

Excerpt
Stargirl

When I was little, my Uncle Pete had a necktie with a porcupine painted on it. I thought that necktie was just about the neatest thing in the world. Uncle Pete would stand patiently before me while I ran my fingers over the silky surface, half expecting to be stuck by one of the quills. Once, he let me wear it. I kept looking for one of my own, but I could never find one.

I was twelve when we moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona. When Uncle Pete came to say goodbye, he was wearing the tie. I thought he did so to give me one last look at it, and I was grateful. But then, with a dramatic flourish, he whipped off the tie and draped it around my neck. "It's yours," he said. "Going-away present."

I loved that porcupine tie so much that I decided to start a collection. Two years after we settled in Arizona, the number of ties in my collection was still one. Where do you find a porcupine necktie in Mica, Arizona - or anywhere else, for that matter?

On my fourteenth ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Stargirl is a true celebration of nonconformity.

This oftentimes tense and emotional story explores the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity-and the thrill and inspiration of first love. The questions, discussion topics, and author information that follow are intended to guide readers and spark discussion as they begin to analyze the larger emotional, sociological, and literary elements of this exceptional and thought-provoking novel.


Discussion questions
  1. As the saying goes, "love is blind." How is this truly the case with Leo and Stargirl? Looking back, how can you tell that Leo was falling for her? And does he stay in love with her, even after she moves away?

  2. Professor Archie Brubaker is the voice of reason throughout the ...
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Reviews

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Spinelli firmly captures the high-school milieu, here heightened by the physical and spiritual barrenness of an Arizona location, a new town where people come to work for technology companies and the school team is called the Electrons. Dialogue, plot, and supporting cast are strong the problem here is Stargirl herself. She may have been homeschooled, may not have seen much TV, but despite her name, she has lived on planet earth for 15 years, and her naivete is overplayed and annoying.

Publishers Weekly
As always, respectful of his audience, Spinelli posses searching questions about loyalty to one's friend's and oneself and leaves readers to form their own answers.

Reader Reviews

Elizabeth Pembleton

Stargirl was amazing!!!!
This book was intriguing and just amazing to intake. I could not put it down until I finished it!

Noelle Zeiser

outstanding!!!
This book is amazing to teen readers because it deals with school problems and how to face them. It's overall an inspiration to teens to keep you head up and always smile!!

Bella

Stargirl
Stargirl is an amazing book! I give it 5 stars

girlktt

awesome!!!
It was a really good book. Whoever said it was a bad book is mean!

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