Friday, November 02, 2012

Stargirl - Book Review

by Jerry Spinelli
Review by ME!

“She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school.” (p. 15). She was Stargirl, a bright light illuminating the dull hallways of Mica Area High School. Leo Borlock couldn’t help but be in love. In fact, everyone loved her, and she loved them back even more. Yet as Stargirl’s kindness grew forever stronger, her peers’ notions turned from solicitude to forcing her into solitude. Caught up in love, Leo finds himself shunned alongside Stargirl. Yearning for the acceptance he no longer has but unwilling to let her go, Leo faces a looming possibility: must Stargirl become… normal?

Stargirl brought me into the depths of all emotions, capturing my heart, though leaving it in despair upon reaching the melancholy ending. What I treasured most was the way this timeless story made me THINK. I believe that books shouldn’t just answer our questions; they should make us ask more questions. Jerry Spinelli’s book does just that. I could therefore easily discover the theme of the book: the value and definition of acceptance and popularity. Stargirl Caraway embodies this concept by constantly crushing social barricades with her pioneer skirts, ukulele serenades, and overall eccentricity. On the other hand, Leo Borlock pursues a balancing act with the pressure of needing acceptance from the crowd and his admiration and love for Stargirl. Both characters resonated the term “dynamic” by developing significantly through each other’s values and beliefs. A lot of stock characters are also present and help define the protagonists and their relation to the theme more distinctly. Another element I believed to highlight the theme, setting, and overall tone, was Jerry Spinelli’s writing style, which was quite simplistic. At times I found it to be a bit too much so, but I began seeing how it actually fit the fact that the writing is from high school student Leo’s perspective. The main occurrence of detail in Spinelli’s writing was in the setting, which was developed well enough to make me feel like this truly was a real circumstance. “Star people are rare,” (p. 177), and this book has challenged me to be someone like that and apply Stargirl’s message to my life. I may not have Stargirl’s Arizonan desert to laugh to and make sing, but maybe I can bring melody to the mountains J.

MY RATING: *******` 7.5/10


  1. Hi Julia, I absolutely loved your review. You made a very good case about how books should not answer but make us ask more questions. Excellent word choice by the way! ;)

    1. Glad to hear you liked and understood that point :). Thanks for the comment :)


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