Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review of Stargirl

My review of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is based on a paperback copy of the book that I purchased for myself. The following review is my honest opinion of the book.

Goodreads Summary: "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."

The first time that I read this book was a little less than a year ago by recommendation of my Adolescent Literature professor. I ended up choosing this book from a list that she had presented me with to write on for our final project; my topic was identity which fit really well with the book itself as Stargirl has an ever-changing identity and Leo struggles with discovering his own.

Stargirl is that girl that everyone secretly wishes they could be but will never be brave enough to become. She's a free spirit who isn't afraid to be a little different, or a lot different as the case may be. What I enjoyed most about Stargirl was the fact that she was willing to go above and beyond those around her in order to make everyone feel special; that was her major goal in the book, to single people out and make their wishes come true. That, and of course, being herself.

Leo is your typical teenage male just trying to fit in with the rest of his classmates. In this aspect he reminds me of a quote brought up in another book [The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier] whose character is questioning whether or not he dares to disturb the universe. For him disturbing the universe would be to date Stargirl as she is, someone entirely different from the rest of Mica High.

I'm giving Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli a four out of five star review. I love this book and consider it a must-read. In my eyes it is a realistic portrayal of high school revealing how easily teenagers can be swayed from one moment to the next. I think this novel could be a brilliant teaching tool to show young adults the consequences of that kind of thought process, I know in that way this novel was particularly eye-opening for me. Or it could also be used in the way that I chose to do it for my final project, as a way to discuss the process of finding your own identity at a time in your life when you just desperately want to fit in and be like everyone else. No matter how you read it Stargirl is a wonderful book with a great message, and as I've already told you guys, I loved it. I hope you guys do too.

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