StargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Published: 8-8-2000 by Scholastic
Get the book: Amazon, The Book Depository

From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. Until they are not. Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her – normal.


Design – ?     Rating – 3/5

This cover kind of confuses me because the title is only shown as the illustration that Stargirl uses to sign her name in the book – there’s no actual text title on it. I’m glad they went for something different, I just wish the title was written on it. I do like the simplicity and the color scheme. The color scheme is like every color that 12-year-old me loved.

thought green

Stargirl is very widely read and I get the sense that it’s also widely loved. But it’s weird because I think Stargirl is written for a middle grade audience, yet it’s about high schoolers. Also, why are people obsessed with blaming John Green for the whole manic pixie dream girl thing? Stargirl is like the manic pixie dream girl. She’s all about doing her own thing and seems genuinely confused when people turn on her and when people are less than thrilled with her antics.

loved green

  • makes you think – Stargirl is a book that makes you question the status quo. When Stargirl shows up at her new school singing and playing ukulele in the cafeteria, smuggling her pet rat with her daily, and making her desk like a home, her classmates think she’s strange. But why do they think she’s so weird? Most of us would think she was the strangest person on the planet, but why? Are the rest of us so unfailingly similar to one another that the least little quirk makes us that uncomfortable? Why do we feel like perceived ‘strangeness’ shouldn’t be allowed or encouraged, but instead smoothed out like it’s inherently wrong because it doesn’t confirm?
  • joyful – I like that all of the kooky things that Stargirl does are done to bring joy to her environment. Singing Happy Birthday to everyone in the school, heck, even finding out everyone’s birthday is weird but nice. Stargirl’s actions are all coming from a place of kindness, and she continues to be endlessly positive toward everyone even when they aren’t kind in return.

didn't love green

  • believability – Maybe I’m just being cynical, but I have a hard time believing that the average high school student body would be so accepting of Stargirl. More often than not, the weird kid is only accepted in an ironic way – whatever they’re doing is entertaining so people jump on the bandwagon while making fun of them behind their back. Stargirl lives in her own little bubble, like it doesn’t even compute in her brain that her behavior isn’t normal. I don’t want to be down on the book’s obvious message of ‘be yourself and everything will be fine,’ but a few close friends accepting you is a whole lot more likely than a few hundred teenagers thinking all the kooky stuff you do is cool.
  • manic pixie dream girl? – This is a hotly debated term right now, as far as the internet is concerned. My personal definition of a manic pixie dream girl is this: a girl who is ridiculously quirky and comes into the life of a male protagonist in order to radically change his life in some way while her own life is largely unchanged. Stargirl fulfills this definition, in my opinion, because she’s insanely quirky – her zaniness changes Leo’s life and outlook on life. Although Stargirl modifies her behavior in a a bid to remain on her peers’ good side, she snaps back to her old self, leaving her life mostly the same except now she has a boyfriend.

quotes green

“You couldn’t stand it. You couldn’t let such wonderfulness out of your sight. You had to follow me.”
I turned to Cinnamon. He licked my nose. “Don’t give yourself so much credit. It was your rat I was after.”       – pg. 86   Stargirl + Leo

I had never realized how much I needed the attention of others to confirm my own presence.      – pg. 126  Leon

3 robots green3 Robots

Acquired: borrowed (ebook)


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