Monday, October 25, 2010

Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli

Summary: Stargirl. She's as magical as the desert sky. As strange as her pet rat. As mysterious as her own name. And she captures Leo Borlock's heart with just one smile.

But when the students of Mica High turn on Stargirl for everything that makes her different, Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity - and the inspiration of first love.
Summary of back of book, cover photo from barnesandnoble.com

My Review
: Stargirl is the new girl at school and to say she doesn't quite fit in is a gross understatement. This girl dances completely to the beat of her own drummer never noticing that she is out of sync with those around her. She is her own person, making no effort to conform to the norms of high school. When Leo, the narrator of the story, falls in love with her it is because of her differences. What he fails to realize is that by loving her originality he also makes himself an outsider.

When the kids at school begin to shun Stargirl, and by proximity the narrator himself, suddenly Stargirl's differences are not as likable. The narrator begins to talk with Stargirl about the importance of fitting in. The change he is desiring in Stargirl is the exact thing that will tear the two apart.

This is a well-written tale of the importance of remaining true to yourself. It is a tale that will appeal to all but will have a special meaning to tweens and young teens. Stargirl begins the story as the feared unknown and ends as role model. This tale accurately protrays the typical emotions of a high school universe in which individuality contends with conformity. Spinelli allows his narrator to make a fool of himself and fall on his head a couple times as all students must do. He illustrates the highs and lows of his characters with remarkable strength. With a focus on developing character traits, this is an ideal read for the 9-12 age group.

My Rating: 5 Stars

To Sum it up: A tale carrying my favorite message...the importance of being yourself

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