stargirl

Jerry Spinelli

About the Author

Jerry Spinelli is an American author who writes children's novels about growing up and being a young adult. He wrote many short stories and was the editor of the literary magazine at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Some of his most commonly read books include Maniac Magee, Crash, Wringer, Stargirl, and Love Stargirl. All of these books are great for kids in their pre-teen years, experiencing frustrating school, home, or love lives.

Characters

LEO: Leo is a regular boy at a regular school who keeps his head down in the halls, has one best friend, and aspires acceptance from the cool kids. He avoids drawing any undue attention to himself... he blends in. That is, until he meets Stargirl.
STARGIRL: She is the spirit and life that most people bury because its more socially accepted... Stargirl is a curious wanderer with a childlike relate-ability. Completely different than anyone else Leo has ever met, the two odd-balls become friends.
ARCHIE: He has known Stargirl since before she ever even attended Mica High School. He has seen every aspect to Stargirl and plays an important role in her life.
KEVIN: He is Leos best friend and partner in crime on their popular school t.v show, The Hot Seat.
HILLARY KIMBLE: She is a mean-spirited teenage girl who seeks to make Stargirl miserable. She is the "queen bee" of Mica High School, and she makes sure no one forgets it.

about the book

When Stargirl arrived at Mica High School, eukelleli in hand and pet rat cinnamon on shoulder, Leo Borlock quickly learns that she is unlike any other. While Leo struggles to maintain his friendships and balance his school life, he is also compelled to discover what this Stargirl is all about. "Her back was to us, so I couldn't see her face. No one sat with her, but at the tables next to hers kids were cramming two to a seat. She didn't seem to notice. She seemed marooned in a sea of staring, buzzing faces." This shows the reader the way everyone feels about Stargirl, which is clearly not very welcoming. And although Leo doesn't have any negative feelings towards Stargirl, it is clear that since everyone else does he is to worried about his public image to be friendly to her. Luckily, she is content with the situation, because that's the type of person Stargirl is. Always in the moment, but somehow removed from the situation.

target audience

The best type of reader for this book is young adults and preteens. This book explains the hardships and benifits of High School and what the 'right group' vs the 'wrong group' looks like. I personally liked the book because it was cute high school romance at its finest. I could connect with the characters well and I believe that others in the same preteen - teen age group would be able to do so as well.