Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli Book Review

By Sally Zhou

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Have you seen ‘Stargirl’? She is amazing, her name is mysterious as a desert’s night sky.

She wore an old beige dress, carried a ukulele; daisies in the vase on her desk. She often smiles without warning. Dances with no music… Everyone was deeply attracted by her frankness and enthusiasm. People said, she was beautiful, there was no one like her. Was she too good to be true, did she even exist at all?

The book “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli is a coming-of-age story, following Stargirl’s journey of leaving homeschooling to enroll in tenth grade of a public high school, and the consequent obstacles that occur.

Stargirl is a story of being unique, acceptance and high-school angst. It’s a story of believing in yourself, and embracing what it means to be truly yourself. Jerry Spinelli captures a unique personality in Stargirl – someone who cheers for everyone, who dances in the rain like a butterfly and one who sings happy birthday to strangers.

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It’s a coming-of-age story that teaches readers to not be defined by your name or your reputation. A story that teaches the reader to be aware that even the smallest of actions can impact others.

In a society that encourages us to try so hard to be someone else that we don’t want to be; in the way we dress, act or think about others, it is the book’s central message – embrace and celebrate the weird – that makes this story stand out. In fifty years, it won’t matter what clothes you wore, it won’t matter what games you bought or if the mean girls at school liked you. But it is your actions in how you treat others and your voice that will make your life unique.

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Despite the heartbreaking ending, Stargirl is a wonderfully written book. Spinelli manages to write the character in such a way that readers can identify pieces of themselves in Stargirl. If you’re looking for a story about the importance of being yourself, knowing your value and the interconnectedness of everyone’s experiences, then this is the book for you.

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