Genre: Realistic Fiction, Books into Movies
First Released: 2000
Part of a Series? Yes
“Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of homeschooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body. But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her.”
Where can I find it?
Stargirl and the companion book Love, Stargirl can be placed on hold through the library’s catalog. It is also available as an eBook from OverDrive and Axis 360. You can also get an eAudiobook from OverDrive and Axis 360.
It is hard for me to believe that Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl came out 20 years ago. This children’s classic is beloved by many, and it is one of the first books that came to mind (along with Wonder by R. J. Palacio) when I started looking for books to recommend as part of our 2020 Kindness Day virtual celebration.
The main character, Stargirl, performs random acts of kindness as part of her daily life—anonymous cards, notes and gifts—for everyone in her small Arizona town. She is wonderfully different in a high school and community that values conformity. She wishes everyone happy birthday by serenading them in the lunch room with her ukelele, cheers for everyone (including the opposing team) and acts with compassion and kindness toward all, even those who are cruel to her. Stargirl marches to the beat of her own drum and, most importantly, recognizes how important it is to be yourself.
This book has inspired students to start their own Stargirl Societies, groups that seek to emulate Stargirl’s example of spreading kindness and being true to yourself. What a wonderful goal in our daily lives: to sprinkle kindness like confetti, embrace and celebrate our differences and show empathy to all. The book and its sequel are available through our library in print, audio and digital formats. Read (or re-read) Stargirl and get to know this great character.