Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

79%

21 Critic Reviews

By describing the girl through the eyes of a teen intermittently repulsed by and in love with her, Spinelli cunningly exposes her elusive qualities...As always respectful of his audience, Spinelli poses searching questions about loyalty to one's friends and oneself and leaves readers to form their own answers.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A modern-day classic and New York Times bestseller that celebrates the power of individuality and personal expression from beloved Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli.

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

Don’t miss the sequel, Love, Stargirl, and Jerry Spinelli’s latest novel, The Warden’s Daughter, about another girl who can't help but stand out.
 
“Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent. . . . No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion.” —The New York Times


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jerry Spinelli

See more books from this Author
Jerry Spinelli won the Newbery Medal in 1991 for Maniac Magee, one of his more than 25 acclaimed books for young readers. He now lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Eileen Spinelli, who is also an author of children's books.
 
Published November 13, 2001 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 210 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Stargirl
All: 21 | Positive: 20 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

The desert—old bones, flowering cactus, scented silence—is a living presence here. So is the demon of conformity, a teen monster of what’s normal...Once again Spinelli takes his readers on a journey where choices between the self and the group must be made, and he is wise enough to show how hard they are, even when sweet.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Aug 07 2015

By describing the girl through the eyes of a teen intermittently repulsed by and in love with her, Spinelli cunningly exposes her elusive qualities...As always respectful of his audience, Spinelli poses searching questions about loyalty to one's friends and oneself and leaves readers to form their own answers.

Read Full Review of Stargirl | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Above average
Reviewed by Tammy L. Currier on Jan 23 2011

A perceptive study of the pitfalls of popularity and conformity, Newbery winner Jerry Spinelli turns conventional behavior on its ear, begging the question: would you turn your back on yourself in the name of approval and popularity?

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The Uncustomary Book Review

Above average
Reviewed by ALICE H. MAYER on Mar 17 2014

Undoubtedly, she does a few things that seem strange...But the other things she does—being friendly with everyone...just don’t seem strange to me... It looks to me that Spinelli’s goal in writing Stargirl was to create a template for his dream of humanity: we should all be loving, kind, and friendly to one another.

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SFFWorld.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Jamie Mildward on Dec 12 2002

I like this book because, it was one of those you dont know whats going to happen next, books or one of those cant set this book down,. I actually think this book needs a grade from Mrs.Burger(my english teacher, but if I had to choose it would probably be an A-,I Hope this encourges you to read this book, if you haven't already.

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Kidz World

Excellent
on Aug 05 2015

This book has a lot to do with popularity and the challenge that so many kids and teens face in having to choose whether to be, act, look, dress and think a certain way just to fit in, or to just be themselves. It’s a hard choice – an impossible choice at times. If you’ve ever felt torn about something like this yourself, Stargirl is a must-read.

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http://childrensbooks.about.com

Above average
Reviewed by Jennifer Kendall on May 01 2014

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a comedic yet soulful read about the pressure-filled years when kids are trying to find their identities amid a whirlpool of pressure and conformity...Although this story is written about sixteen-year-old high school sophomores, Stargirl is easily a middle school classic that should be read.

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UTexas

Above average
Reviewed by Angela McClendon on Jul 28 2015

Although Spinelli insists that Stargirl is a realistic character, it is nearly impossible to imagine a teenage girl so oblivious to societal scrutiny. However, Stargirl provides readers with a likable role model who demonstrates the beauty of altruism and nonconformity.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by ChobaniLuvinPenguin on Aug 08 2015

Without a doubt, the tale of Stargirl is one that continues to shine on in the hearts of readers, both young and old. “She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow.” Leo took upon these words to describe her, and I couldn’t agree more.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Aug 08 2015

If anyone were to ask me if they should read it, I would most definitely say yes. The ending is great. The beginning was suspenseful. No one knew what to expect, and those are the kind of books I like. They gave great detail on describing Stargirl, and how she just didn’t care what people thought, and to be real.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Samantha T on Aug 08 2015

I really liked this book. It's funny, sad and it has a little romance. It hooks you in right away, mostly because the author's style is great...I would recommend the book Stargirl to anyone. It's a great book and more people should read it.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by luv_icecream on Aug 08 2015

Stargirl, in the book “Stargirl”, by Jerry Spinelli, is different. Really different...Stargirl was unique. She changed people, she helped people, she lived for people. She didn’t have an ego. She helped people become who they truly wanted to be. She was unbelievable. She was a miracle.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Kendall R on Aug 08 2015

I think this book was very organized and is very easy to follow...I think the book overall was a great book and I recommend it to girls around 8 and up...there’s some parts where you just want to stop reading, but make sure you finish this book because trust me you want to know the ending.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by avalancheLily on Aug 08 2015

This book is lovely because of Stargirl's quirks, eccentricities, and eternal optimism. At times the story is cruel, and Leo is exasperating in his fear of being ostracized by others. But the message of the book is individuality, and in the end, Stargirl shines through.

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EzineArticles

Good
Reviewed by Lynai Lamason on Jan 21 2012

The writing is simple and comfortable, and the characters are easy to get acquainted with. I find it easy to fall into the sympathetic character of Leo and I can understand how the entire student body try to figure out (though failing) the mystery that is Stargirl...I like how Stargirl encourages the reader to be comfortable with himself...

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Fyrefly's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by fyrefly on Aug 15 2008

I didn’t quite fall into this story...but I still thought it was a magical little fable that should be read by the popular and the unpopular, the conformists and the non-conformists, young and old… and let’s all go out and re-claim a little of our individuality...A lovely and charming book, more than well worth the time it takes to read.

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Story Snoops

Above average
Reviewed by Shannon on May 01 2014

This extraordinary story celebrates the value being yourself, even when faced with negative consequences. Demonstrating the cruelty of teens and fickleness of popularity, this book also illustrates people's tendency to dislike what they don't understand...Stargirl is a story that can be enjoyed by teens and tweens alike.

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Vulpus Libris

Good
Reviewed by Eve Harvey on Apr 25 2009

This is an extraordinary book, exceptionally written and beautifully characterised. I really rate this book in my all time top five, it’s simply stunning. Not a huge amount happens plot-wise but the story is a highly accessible allegory for the way people who are different are treated by others.

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https://www.commonsensemedia.org

Excellent
Reviewed by Matt Berman on Jul 27 2015

This gently mystical, thought-provoking, and enchanting rumination on conformity is, in some ways, a YA version of The Little Prince, or a female version of Spinelli's own award-winning Maniac Magee...Like much of Spinelli's best work, it straddles the line between reality and fantasy, dwelling in the land of legend and allegory.

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Reeder Reads

Good
Reviewed by ReederReads on Mar 26 2010

Stargirl has been on my shelf for quite some time. It has traveled through two moves and has patiently waited for me to read its contents. I’m now kicking myself that I didn’t read it earlier, because it was, in one word, outstanding.

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Mental Foodie

Above average
Reviewed by Christa on Jan 24 2010

I actually don't quite know how I feel about this book. I like the concept of it (accept others who are different, be proud of your own individuality, conformity / being like everybody else isn't always the best), but somehow the story fell a bit short, like something is missing, and I couldn't quite explain why.

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Reader Rating for Stargirl
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2392 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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