Book Reviews

Book Review: Stargirl by 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.

Stargirl. Thought provoking, beautiful, poetic!

My Thoughts

I started reading Stargirl to my boys for their bedtime story. They are 9 and 12 years old. About a quarter of the way in, I noticed they weren’t too interested (although I was!) and I felt perhaps it was a bit too YA for them. (Note, there is nothing inappropriate for a middle grade readership, but the content was a bit over their heads.)

I will share with you that I spent many many years finishing books I wasn’t enjoying, feeling that I “had to” before I could read another, sometimes, delaying me by months due to procrastination. I finally decided that my time was more valuable then that and that if I’m not enjoying a book, I’m going to pass it on. I think leading by example is important, so I asked the boys if they were enjoying the story or if they would prefer we start something else and after a bit of discussion we moved on.

BUT I FINISHED IT! Hungrily at that. And I LOVED IT!

Stargirl is inspiring, individual, unique, poetic. The back cover copy from my book is different from that listed on Amazon, and it captures a statement from the book that is just magical:

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. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

StarGirl, back cover copy, scholastic Inc.

As I write this, I am listening to a playlist of soundtrack music. “Concerning Hobbits” from The Lord of the Rings just came on, and I think it captures the essence of Stargirl beautifully. I’ve never associated music with a book before, so that’s a first, folks! 🙂

I highly recommend this book for those who want to be inspired to be themselves. You will fall in love with Stargirl and Leo. This book is so well written, and the reader can certainly feel and experience Leo’s dilemma of falling in love with a free spirit and dealing with having a free spirit love him back.

I have just found a sequel called Love, Stargirl. Added to cart!

Jerry Spinelli is the award winning author of Maniac McGee. I also reviewed a copy of his book, Report to the Principal’s Office.

This is an unsolicited review, I purchased this book at a thrift store. Here’s the link on Amazon.

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (May 11 2004)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440416777

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