Stargirl

Jerry Spinelli
A modern-day classic and New York Times bestseller that celebrates the power of individuality and personal expression from beloved Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli. Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of "Stargirl, Stargirl." She captures Leo Borlock' s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love. Don't miss the sequel, Love, Stargirl, and Jerry Spinelli's latest novel, The Warden's Daughter, about another girl who can't help but stand out.   "Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent. . . . No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion." --The New York Times From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-08-08
**Just announced: STARGIRL will be adapted for film by screenwriter Kristin Hahn and director Catherine Hardwicke.**Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love. She was homeschooling gone amok. She was an alien. Her parents were circus acrobats. These are only a few of the theories concocted to explain Stargirl Caraway, a new 10th grader at Arizona's Mica Area High School who wears pioneer dresses and kimonos to school, strums a ukulele in the cafeteria, laughs when there are no jokes, and dances when there is no music. The whole school, not exactly a hotbed of nonconformity, is stunned by her, including our 16-year-old narrator Leo Borlock: She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. In time, incredulity gives way to out-and-out adoration as the student body finds itself helpless to resist Stargirl's wide-eyed charm, pure-spirited friendliness, and penchant for celebrating the achievements of others. In the ultimate high school symbol of acceptance, she is even recruited as a cheerleader. Popularity, of course, is a fragile and fleeting state, and bit by bit, Mica sours on their new idol. Why is Stargirl showing up at the funerals of strangers? Worse, why does she cheer for the opposing basketball teams? The growing hostility comes to a head when she is verbally flogged by resentful students on Leo's televised Hot Seat show in an episode that is too terrible to air. While the playful, chin-held-high Stargirl seems impervious to the shunning that ensues, Leo, who is in the throes of first love (and therefore scornfully deemed Starboy), is not made of such strong stuff: I became angry. I resented having to choose. I refused to choose. I imagined my life without her and without them, and I didn't like it either way. Jerry Spinelli, author of Newbery Medalist Maniac Magee, Newbery Honor Book Wringer, and many other excellent books for teens, elegantly and accurately captures the collective, not-always-pretty emotions of a high school microcosm in which individuality is pitted against conformity. Spinelli's Stargirl is a supernatural teen character--absolutely egoless, altruistic, in touch with life's primitive rhythms, meditative, untouched by popular culture, and supremely self-confident. It is the sensitive Leo whom readers will relate to as he grapples with who she is, who he is, who they are together as Stargirl and Starboy, and indeed, what it means to be a human being on a planet that is rich with wonders. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson
Reviewed: 2019-05-30

Common sense media: positive messages of nonconformity

Kirkus and School library journal: no issues

 

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@dia309 completed #stargirl... on 2016-04-14