Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli

Lou, the sixteen-year-old narrator of this book is a typical teen boy. He's a bit shy and introverted but gets along okay socially. The entire student body of Mica High School is turned upside down when a new student who has named herself Stargirl shows up on the first day of school. This odd, formerly home-schooled girl plays the ukulele, wears long pioneer dresses, and she seems to not care a single whit what other people think of her or of her whacky style and personality.

Lou is smitten and the two gradually develop a romantic relationship. The rest of the students at Mica start out bewildered of Stargirl, they soon develop a fair weather form of admiration and raise her up to super-star popularity. But quite suddenly the rest of the students turn on her for some of the same qualities they so admired, her non-comformity and passionate compassion.

Lou's dilema in all of this is captured by a single question: "Whose affection do you value more, hers or others?" This isn't an easy struggle for Lou. He isn't as able ignore the cold stares of his classmates and he begs Stargirl to change, to become more normal.

There were several things I liked about this book. High school group dyanamics were represented very realistically and all those new and dizzying feelings of first love were also captured through Lou's descriptions and narration. My only criticism was that Stargirl's character was a bit over-the-top. Overdone. But for middle schoolers working through identity issues, I'm sure she is a perfect hero.

3 comments:

Mrs. V said...

I read this a couple of years ago with my 8th grade class. I want to read Love, Stargirl the companion version from Stargirl's point of view. I am interested to see what she thought of Leo and his decisions in the book. And as you said, Stargirl was over the top. I wonder what she will be like as a narrator!

Anonymous said...

His name is Leo, not Lou.

Anonymous said...

what were her fears?