Stargirl

Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli Between finishing the book and writing this review, I attended my bookstore's teen book club's meeting where we discussed this book. As in the best discussions, it changed my view of the book slightly. Stargirl arrives at Mica Area High School. She's different. Really different. Pet rat and pioneer dresses and ukulele serenades in the lunchroom different. At first, the students don't know what to make of her. Hillari Kimble insists she can't be real. Leo Borlock finds her fascinating and perhaps a bit frightening. Stargirl slowly starts a revolution in the school In watching her be different, the student body has the courage to let their own individuality show. That is, until everything changes. It was a subject of debate in the book club meeting whether or not Stargirl contributed to her own downfall. Hillari was determined to dislike her and did her best to turn others against Stargirl. On the other hand, Stargirl starts stepping into people's lives in ways that demand attention. She attends the funeral of a classmates grandfather, sidling close enough to the grave to be captured in photographs. She semi stalks a toddler across the street, intending to surprise the parents with a scrapbook. Contrary to her "I don't care what they think of me" personal, Stargirl wants to be noticed, and will accept negative attention as well as positive. When the "ignore" treatment of the other students falls onto Leo, he can't accept it with the same aplomb as Stargirl. He asks her to change. Stargirl becomes Susan. Of course, the other students see through that in a hot minute. As someone who spent her adolescence as an outsider, and someone who still feels like a bit of one, there was a great deal for me to connect to in Stargirl, including the attempt to change to please other people, something I think we all wish we did a little less. Cate