I just finished reading ‘Stargirl’ by Jerry Spinelli. This 186 realistic fiction novel was a good story about non-conformity. In the book, Leo Borlock, a 17 year old who lives in the desert of Arizona, is shocked (as is the rest of his school) when a new girl arrives on the first day. Stargirl, as she is called, stands out for her actions; she does incredibly nice things to strangers she has never met. Although Stargirl’s classmates like her at first, they follow in the footsteps of the most popular girl in school and turn on her; she is viewed as someone who does awful things, such as ruining the high school team’s basketball season. Leo, who falls in love with Stargirl, is put in the middle of the mess, and can’t decide what he wants more: Stargirl, or society. I liked the way the author structured the dialogue so that is was humorous yet always adding to the plot. If I were the author I would have added more conflict to make a stronger story line. I found this passage interesting:
“We continued this conversation for the next couple of days. I explained the ways of people to her. I said you can’t cheer for everybody. She said why not? I said a person belongs to a group, you can’t belong to everyone. She said why not? I said you just can’t barge into the funeral of a perfect stranger. She said why not? I said you just can’t. She said why? I said because. I said you have to respect other people’s privacy, there’s such a thing as not being welcome. I said not everybody likes having somebody with a ukulele sing “Happy Birthday” to them. They don’t? she said.” (p. 137)
This passage shows the way Spinelli writes; The characters questions help shape their personality. It also reveals some of Spinelli’s craft. He uses short fragments with a statement to get the readers attention.
This was a pretty good book overall in my opinion. There were some parts that could’ve been better, but overall it was fun to read. I would rate it a 7.5 out of 10.