Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

"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. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew." -excerpt from Stargirl

Stargirl is one of those precious stories that isn't bogged down with useless words. It's very simple, direct, and with a message. Stargirl Caraway is a new student in Mica High School. None of the other kids have seen anybody quite like her. She's different. At first the other students are baffled by her hippy skirts and free-spirit ways, but soon she is the most popular girl in school. After she cheers for the opposing basketball team during a school tournament, she's immediately shunned by everyone in school-everyone but Leo.

Told by Leo Borlock, the story of Stargirl shows you how someone like her can make such an impact on so many people in such a short period of time. There are times when I smiled, when I wanted to shout at these narrow-minded people, and when I just wanted to cheer for Stargirl.

Stargirl Caraway is the kind of person everyone strives to be but is too afraid. We're afraid of the world and what it will say. We would all like to be so carefree that we could stand up in the middle of a high school cafeteria and sing "Happy Birthday" with a ukulele. We'd like to be able to wear flapper style dresses one day and an ankle length prairie dress the next. We'd all love to anonymously leave homemade greeting cards for any occasion to a deserving stranger or leave candy hearts for everyone on Valentine's Day. I think I can say that all of us would essentially like to be more like Stargirl. She's a nonconformist, and doesn't give one lick about what others think. She's never even thought to care.

I was touched, and I was left wanting to be just like Stargirl. I think the world would be a more happier place if there were more people like her.

I learned that there is a sequel to this book called Love, Stargirl. I'm pretty skeptical about reading it just because this is one of those books that doesn't need a second part. It's perfect just the way it is. I'm not in a hurry to read it, but if it crosses my path I may just have to. I can't resist Stargirl and her charm.


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