Mustering the courage to be true to oneself while traveling the treacherous seas of high school conformity can be a daunting task. Readers who meet Stargirl in this joyous book may just find the i...


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Stargirl - P

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Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl is a remarkably engaging book about the courage it takes to be yourself, fully and completely, in a society geared toward making people conform.

Mica High, located in a working class desert town in Arizona, is about as ''normal'' as you can get. Enter Stargirl, a lively, exceptionally kind girl who isn't afraid to be herself. But her ability to be so completely herself disarms her fellow classmates. At first they don't know what to do with her. She doesn't fit into any category of people they have in their minds - she is weird but she is so kind. Always the first one to feel someone's pain or worry, Stargirl is a model of compassion in a place where acts of compassion are closely guarded for fear of being viewed as weird. But being weird doesn't seem to bother Stargirl one bit and, in fact, she seems to revel in it.

Soon the whole school is enchanted. Her new boyfriend, Leo, adores her for who she is; but, he's also afraid of how people perceive her. One night at a basketball game, Stargirl instinctively rushes to comfort a hurt player on the other team. Her schoolmates can't understand this. Instead of seeing her behavior as a natural empathic reaction, they see it as an act of treason. And so her troubles begin.

Soon she is an outcast for the very behaviors that made the school adore her. Leo, desperate to fit in himself but also wildly in love with Stargirl, encourages her to abandon her ''weird'' behaviors and try to fit in; she does, but unfortunately even this backfires. Her classmates ostracize her anyway.

Stargirl has the incredible courage to reclaim herself, to stop trying to fit in and to just be herself; even if it means losing the one she loves. In the end, Stargirl proves herself a legend, a changer of hearts and minds.

Stargirl touches deeply on the eternal dilemma of the teenage years - how much are we willing to change about ourselves in order to be popular. In this deftly crafted celebration of nonconformity, Spinelli challenges the status quo and offers a bright new model of the joys of being one's self. This is a fine, fine book.

(Ages: 12 and up)

#9592 - Paperback Book - 192 Pgs
Regularly $9.99   Sale price $7.97

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