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Stargirl (Readers Circle) by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl (Readers Circle) (original 2000; edition 2004)

by Jerry Spinelli

Series: Stargirl (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,909319525 (3.94)139
Title:Stargirl (Readers Circle)
Authors:Jerry Spinelli
Info:Laurel Leaf (2004), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012, BRIS Book Club
Tags:YA, high school, contemporary realistic fiction, romance, outsiders

Work details

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (2000)

  1. 40
    Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (missnickynack)
    missnickynack: Its the sequel to Stargirl and it is equally as good.
  2. 11
    Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block (kaionvin)
  3. 00
    Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass (RidgewayGirl)
  4. 00
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: More average-boy-meets-life-changing-girl.
  5. 11
    Paper Towns by John Green (strandedon8jo)
  6. 00
    Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde (stephxsu)
    stephxsu: Similarly innocent-but-wise female character.
  7. 01
    Loser by Jerry Spinelli (bookel)

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Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
I read this book for the first time as a 26 year old adult, and I was utterly captivated. For reference, I do not typically enjoy young adult books (and I would even say this is readable for the very young adult), so this is not what I tend to read at all. I read a lot (over 20 books last year), and sometimes I feel it’s good to shake things up a bit with a book I typically wouldn’t read. I happened to find it at my annual book fair, where they allow us to add any number of books into a box of any size for a set price.

The narrator is a teenager named Leo, and it’s the typified writing of a lot of most YA books: it’s first-person narrative. Because of that, you saw everything unfolding through Leo’s eyes. I found Leo relatively un-special, especially for Stargirl. Usually weird attracts weird, and I honestly never understood what engendered her to him so much. The perspectives between the two were interesting: Leo being the conformist, and Stargirl being the eccentric. You can’t read this and expect these characters to be fully fleshed out, Tolkien-esque in their wit and intelligence. It’s an easy-to-read story, surrounding young teens and their first love. I’d say they are somewhere between two and three dimensional in their breadth; at times undeveloped, and other times full of emotion and conflicting motives. Overall, it’s a cute story without being hoaky, uplifting without being preachy, and even a little bit magical. (Though I will say it gets a bit eye-rolling at the end of the book, when the narrator is an adult reflecting on his past.)

What I loved so much about this book, though, was that it basically encourages you to let your freak flag fly; to be who you want to be. And this is a message I couldn’t stress more to kids, and even adults. Growing up, I was also a little odd, and I grew up to become a pretty legitimate adult with an adult career and etc. I wasn’t an especially dramatic teen, but I was rather rebellious. I saw some similarities between me and Stargirl because I was weird and quirky, and I didn’t truly let that dampen who I ultimately became. I told myself I didn’t gaf what people thought about me when I was that age, but the truth is that I did care. (Though for all purposes Stargirl is immune, but then again, the perspective is through Leo’s eyes. So for all we know, she did actually care, but didn’t let it bother her. Either way, it’s a good lesson.) Only when I grew up into the weird adult I am today, did I truly shed that skin.

It’s hard to say who I think would enjoy this book, because it’s so obviously geared towards pre-teens, and yet I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I read it in a day, so it’s an easy read and doesn’t really waste much time if you don't like it. ( )
  Lauraborealis | Jan 10, 2017 |
A great book about friendship and nonconformity ( )
  Annabelleurb | Dec 13, 2016 |
I haven't read this in a while, but it was one of my most favorite novels going up. The main character is a young boy who is intrigued when a new girl starts attending their school who isn't afraid to be herself (and to be different from everyone else). It's a great lesson on being who you are and also befriending those people that may be a little different. It is one that I would reread even as an adult. ( )
  dingesa27 | Dec 6, 2016 |
This was a delightful read! The book follows the story of Leo, a high school student who's life changes when a new girl arrives at his high school where conforming to social norms are the key to "social survival". This new girl, self-named Stargirl, is the picture of non-conformity and loves to march to the beat of her own drum. Showing up to school each day dressed in new and outlandish outfits, cheering for the other teams accomplishments, and acting in pure love of life and of all those around her, Stargirl experiences brief popularity before being shunned by the entire High School. This leads Leo, who has become her only friend and eventually boyfriend, to be forced to decide whether or not he would join her in this shunning or turn against someone who selflessly loves and is constantly surprising everyone with her out-of-the-box ways of loving.

This book, meant for upper elementary (5th grade at the earliest) is an entertaining read that has a very powerful message of non-conformity and stepping out of the norms in order to remain true to oneself. It's inspiring for readers to experience the whimsical ways of Stargirl and think about ways that they can show better friendship and encouragement to others.

Parents Choice Gold Award Winner
ALA Top Ten Best Books Award winner
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

Award descriptions:
Parents Choice Gold Award Winner: An award presented by the non-profit Parents' Choice Foundation to recognize "the very best products for children of different ages and backgrounds, and of varied skill and interest levels." It was established in 1978 by Diana Green.
ALA Top Ten Best Books Award winner: Decided on by the American Library Association (ALA), this award chooses each year's best young adult literature.
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year: an American weekly trade news magazine that targets publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents chooses one book a year to honor with this award.

APA Citation: Spinelli, J. (2000). Stargirl. New York: Knopf. ( )
  BrittaSchlect | Nov 24, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book because the characters were well developed. This book is about a very unique girl named Stargirl who is new at a high school. She does not dress or act like most girls, which both intrigues people as well as oppose them. For example, during football games Stargirl cheered for everyone, including the players from the away team, which upset some people from her high school. The book states, "And then I saw her. At lunch. She wore an off-white dress so long it covered her shoes. It had ruffles around the neck and cuffs and looked like it could have been her great grandmother's wedding gown." The big idea behind this book is that people should feel comfortable in their own skin, and standing out is much more memorable than trying to blend in with everyone else. ( )
  breannaamos | Nov 11, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jerry Spinelliprimary authorall editionscalculated
Steinhöfel, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Eileen, my Stargirl
And to Loren Eiseley, who taught that even as we are, we are becoming
And to Sonny Liston
First words
When I was little, my uncle Pete had a necktie with a porcupine painted on it.
I don't want to be like nobody.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Star girl is an extrodinary gilr. shes not the average teenage you would see on a daily basis. At first a everyonf likes her, they even ask her to be in the cheerleading squad. She has a high spirit in supporting everyone she meets. Some people thinks shes too wierd to hang around with but they end up sitting with her during lunch and even follow along when shes singing happy-birthdsy to someone they dont even know.

Righ now im in the middle of the book and just read that she likes Leo. she actually told him he was cute and now they are hanging out everyday. everyday after school they go uot in the dessert and meditate on being empty (as in not tinkng on anything or thinking about thinking.). on other occasions they go to the mall and play this game that stargirl invented. this yong couple is just right for each other since either one of them is ashamed of each other. Leo, is very popular, but when they are both together holding hands nobody wants ot talk to Leo or Stargirl. Ever since Stargirl helped a player from the other team, they all have hated her. thats the reason why nobody watns to talk to them when they are together or just Stargirl alone.

I just finished the book and im very surprised on the ending that happend.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440416779, Mass Market Paperback)

"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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

(summary from another edition)

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