by Jerry Spinelli

Hardcover, 2000



Local notes

Fic Spi




Scholastic (2000), Edition: First Printing, Hardcover, 188 pages


Romance. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME  •  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A modern-day classic from Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli, this beloved celebration of individuality  is now an original movie on Disney+! And don't miss the author's highly anticipated new novel, Dead Wednesday! 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, as well as The Warden’s Daughter, a novel 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.… (more)

Original publication date


Physical description

188 p.; 8.3 inches

Media reviews

Amazon Customer Review, Stargirl
I honestly recommend this novel to young girls or mostly anyone that is struggling with embracing themselves and having fear being different from others. Stargirl is the new girl in Mica High School, and she is quite different from the other students. She stands out a lot in the crowd because they
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think she weird for a variety of reasons. Fitting in a new school environment is very difficult because we all want people to like us. But people don't see the unique person we are they just judge us constantly. After, months she decides to pretend as hard to be just like the others. Also, Leo wants her to be like the other girls because he is concerned about popularity and who talks to him. She feels peer pressure and changes her style and the way she acts. She was hoping that people will notice the change and it will have a huge impact in her popularity but that was not the case. Overall, the novel “Stargirl” is inspirational and has themes that teens are enduring. My favorite parts are when Sartgirl doesn't let people get to her by saying mean stuff just because she is different. And she is not embarrassed or even cares that she is different.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member bell7
Leo Borlock recounts his junior year, the year Stargirl Carraway stopped being homeschooled and started coming to Mica High School. Stargirl is herself, not at all conforming to the way the students think a "normal" girl should behave - she has a pet rat, and a ukulele, and sings "Happy Birthday"
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to her schoolmates in the cafeteria. At first she's popular, but she becomes more and more ostracized as her behavior continues and the popular kids don't think much of her.

This was a tough book to like. Stargirl was an interesting character, one who's individuality sparkles off the page so you can imagine every bit of her. On the other hand, I've never known any teenager that behaved like her because it was who they were, rather than a desire for attention. I'm not sure I agree that she's automatically to be admired for being different. Leo, on the other hand, seemed very real to me. I cringed about some of the choices he makes, all the while thinking, "Sure, I'd make a different choice now, but when I was in high school and unsure of myself and unsure of who I was, yeah, I would have done x." The story of his growing friendship with Stargirl is bittersweet, as she barely notices what others think, while Leo cares very, very much about his schoolmates' opinions. Maybe it didn't work for me because it felt more like a lesson than a story.
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LibraryThing member BrOoKe03
A new girl has arrived at Mica High. Stargirl. That is her name. She is unlike everyone else, very far from normal. She does odd things such as sing Happy Birthday to people she does not even know and dances in the rain. Even though she is so different, she is beautiful. She wears no make-up and
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dresses weird. Instead of having a normal pet, her pet is a rat named Cinnamon. In the beginning, everyone loves her except for Hillari Kimble. Leo seemed to have been drawn to her. He was slowly falling for Stargirl. As the year went on, Stargirl seemed to be bringing life back into school and sporting events; everyone began to attend simply to watch her. However, Stargirl began cheering for the opposing teams; this made Mica High very angry. They had remained undefeated until the end of the season. They blamed the loss on Stargirl. Afterwards, no one spoke to her, and no one would even touch her. Since Leo was now her "boyfriend" he was also an outcast now.

As a teacher this is a novel that has great morals. It is one that could teach students life lessons. One should not make fun of those who are different. No one is the same, and no one should try to be someone he or she is not. Always be true to who you are. A teacher might take her students, after finishing the novel, and get them to pick their own names as a fun activity.

I enjoyed the novel. I would like to read the rest when I get the opportunity. It made me realize that some people are really obsessed with being so normal and like everyone else that they change who they are. Today, however, everyone is so different yet just alike all at the same time. I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to others.
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LibraryThing member stephxsu
At Mica High School in Mica, Arizona, things are quiet and uneventful. Everyone dresses alike. Everyone thinks alike. No one does anything that their neighbor wouldn’t do.
Until Stargirl comes along.

Homeschooled for years, Stargirl defies categorization. She wears long, flowing pioneer dresses
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daily, intermingled with outrageous costumes. She serenades people with her ukulele at lunch on their birthdays. She brings her pet rat Cinnamon to school. She looks strangers in the eye. She dances to no music and seems to understand something about life that her classmates do not. Mica students aren’t sure what to do with her, and she goes from being interesting to admired to shunned and finally ostracized.

Leo Borlock was perfectly happy with his generic Mica life. Then, against his will, he finds himself falling for Stargirl. The two share an incredible, eye-opening romance. In their own little world, everything is perfect and magical. But when they have to face their critical classmates, what will happen to their relationship?

This is by far Jerry Spinelli's best novel. It is a beautifully written story about nonconformity and the seeds of magic and quirkiness that we all possess, though we may not realize it. Readers will wish that they were friends with Stargirl. I was unsatisfied with the ending, but I understand why Spinelli would have ended the novel in that way. There is nothing I would change about this extremely touching and timeless story. I recommend this to everyone, regardless of their age.
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LibraryThing member MalloryBatson
This book is about a girl who moves into a new town and begins high school. The students at this high school are all set in their ways, so the new girl at their school quickly gains a lot of attention. She is unlike anyone they have ever met. She wears long, flowing dresses and wears a ukelele
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strapped to her at all times. She plays in the lunchroom everyday and sings "Happy Birthday" to anyone who is celebrating a birthday that day. This girl goes by the name Stargirl. She goes out of her way to be nice to everyone. At basketball games, when the opposing team scores, she cheers for them also. Furthermore, if a player for another team is injured, she will rush to their aid. She loves nature and is very in touch with herself and things that are truly important in life. One boy in her school, Leo, is fascinated with Stargirl. They become really good friends and begin to like each other more than friends. Everyone at school eventually quits talking to them, and Leo does not like this. He wants to be normal, so he decides to try and change Stargirl. Stargirl decides to change her ways and become a "typical" high school teenaged girl, but she is not being true to herself. She is miserable and eventually gives up living this way and resorts to her old ways. Leo and Stargirl fall out of their relationship and after the Octillio Ball, no one sees Stargirl again. Leo realizes what he has missed out on and regrets ever wanting to make her change because she was truly a great person and knew what was important in life.

Two important themes in this book are treating people with kindness and not judging people. Stargirl always went out of her way to do simple acts of kindness. She wanted everyone to be happy and always put others ahead of herself. A teacher should emphasize the importance of always helping others because it gives you a good feeling inside. Also, people today are very selfish, so it is great for students to learn how to be selfless and think of others. Students could discuss different ways to give back to the community or help others at the school. Also, students need to know the importance of not judging people simply by the way they look. Stargirl looked very strange to everyone at her school. She dressed completely different than everyone. The students did not know what to think of her at first, but they later learned that she truly had a heart of golf and meant well. She was unique; she was Stargirl. Students need to realize they may learn a great deal from other people they never dreamed they would associate with. Everyone has something to offer to other people, so it is important to have an open mind.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It really made me realize the importance of putting other people ahead of yourself. Stargirl never once thought of herself. She got great joy out of spending her Saturdays doing things for other people without them knowing she was the one who did it. She did not want credit for anything; she simply enjoyed making other people feel good inside. This book reminds me of a book I read in high school called The Five People You Meet in Heaven. These books remind me of each other because both of these books make the reader realize the true importance in life and how every person you meet has an impact on your life, whether you realize it at that moment or not. I feel like this book is a great book for young readers starting in about sixth grade. I would not go above seventh or eighth grade with this book. I feel like students would enjoy it because it is about adolescents and teaches good life lessons that students should learn about.
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LibraryThing member george.d.ross
I found this whole book obnoxious in the same way I find all these "Patch Adams"-style stories... so "free spirit" makes everyone cluck in disapproval until they realize they wish they could be just like her. Well, I don't want to be like her. And I don't think one has to wear daisies in one's hair
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to be a nonconformist, nor do I think nonconformity is something to admire for its own sake. Oh, and I know she does nice things for people, but half of these "nice things" were actually "sort of creepy things" that would make a lot of people feel violated.
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LibraryThing member kscarlett01
This book is about a girl who moves to a new school is immediately viewed as an outsider due to her unique appearance and personality. She is befriended by a boy at school, whom the point of view of the story is told. This is a great book to encourage individuality and acceptance of peers.
LibraryThing member sillyskyscrapers
This is a beautiful, brilliant and stunning story. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. It made me so happy. The ending is quite perfect, or as perfect as it could've been.

It's written in a simplistic and straight-forward manner, but out of nowhere, Spinelli bursts out with a stunning
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metaphor. That's partly why I can't classify it as merely a children's book, because it has such poetic language contrasted with the matter-of-fact verse. In itself, the language can be viewed to mirror the world of Mica Area High School and Stargirl herself.

Stargirl cares and believes in people. That's the underpinning strength throughout all of Stargirl's actions. I think this was the very bit of her that I found disbelieving or "out-of-this-world" - she seemed to have some supernatural gifts which allowed her to know everything about people. Her naivety (at first, I got the impression she was supernatural, magical, or beyond her years, at th every least - really, she's naive, but it's beautiful, ignorant naivety shining through) is beautiful and prescious.

You do grow to like Leo (the protagonist), despite his entire anonymous presence. You know very little of him from the beginning to the end, aside form his own connection with Stargirl via a necktie. In the end, you can't blame him from wanting Stargfirl to change, as opposed to accepting her, like, perhaps, many of us would do. I can empathise.

It's a very original story. Susan reinvents herself; she is noncomformity, individuality and freedom. Being homeschooled allowed her to grow up without the shado wof other people's opinions, without the awareness of other people's influence on her life, decisions and world. She's very happy this way. As I read more into the book, a wanting to be like Stargirl grew. But than the opposing thought formed; it made me realise that being so closed off to the world is maybe not the best idea, despite good intentions. It caused Stargirl to hurt, rather than feel welcomed into the Mica Area High School. I'm therefore not blaming Leo as the reason Stargirl was no longer wanted, or for his own dissociation with her.
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LibraryThing member bethlea
Hearing John Ritter's voice made me sad at first; but he was a great reader for this story of a girl who is unafraid to be different and the boy who likes her but regrets that he needed to be accepted "by all of them" more than he wanted to be liked by her.
Although aimed at the pre-teen crowd, I
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throughly enjoyed this story.
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LibraryThing member mmontague
This book was very inspiring it showed that you can be different and still nice.
LibraryThing member la_librarian
Stargirl was a great book about individuality and how peer pressure can affect how students treat each other. Stargirl is a free spirit who is oblivious to what others think of her, Leo likes her but is scared of what others think of him for being her boyfriend. The lanuage Spinelli used throughout
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the book is poetic and is told from Leo's perspective as a person who is full of wonder at this weird wonderful magical person who calls herself Stargirl.
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LibraryThing member stargirl
Magical. A special book for any teen.
LibraryThing member onlyhope1912
Stargirl is very moving story, It takes place at the local high school, about a girl who dares to be different. She was home schooled and isn't like any of the other students. Stargirl was more in touch with life than most teenagers. She helps people, remembers birthdays, and wears long flowing
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skirts. Leo was just another guy until he met Stargirl. At first he likes her...but then he notices that she's really different. The book teaches a great lesson when Stargirl decides to become like "Evelyn Everybody" to please him. She changed and gave up who she was for him, and he didn't even realize what she'd done. People get to caught in being like everyone else, and forget that they don't really need designer jeans.
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LibraryThing member katelyns5
this was an an amazing book that was so hard to put down i loved it. i thought it was better than the second one.
LibraryThing member akcarson
Great book to open discussions about peer pressure. This is a timeless topic that is portrayed in a new way by Jerry Spinelli. He has you loving Stargirl and begging the boyfriend to stand up for her.
LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
When an unusual girl named Stargirl appears, Leo is unsure what to think of her. She wins everyone over, however, despite her many and varied eccentricities. Eventually, those eccentricities come back to haunt her when she falls out of favor. Leo urges her to change, and, when she gives up after
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changing doesn't work, abandons her. She comes back one last time mystifying everyone and winning them back, but Leo never sees her again.
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LibraryThing member roses
Takes place in high school of a girl who comes to school and is rather unique in her own way.
LibraryThing member LAteacher
"Stargirl" is a book that brings you through different adventures and emotions. One moment you might be smiling because of something funny Stargirl did, and the next moment, you might be crying because of the evil things her classmates are doing to her. Basically, this book is about a girl named
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Stargirl. She was very different from the others in the school which made them hate her. Everyone hated her except for one guy named Leo. He was in love with Stargirl. Soon, everyone found out they were together and started to turn their backs on Leo too. Leo then asks for Stargirl to be what was impossible: normal. Now if you want to know more about what Stargirl turned into and what happens to their relationship...then READ THE BOOK!
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LibraryThing member hollster74
This is a romance from the eyes of Leo, a teenage boy who is starstruck by Stargirl, the new girl at school. She is a unique girl who doesn't care what others think about her, but who is loving and caring of everybody around her. She goes from outcast to most popular girl back to outcast, and Leo's
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feelings follow the same roller coaster. Her character is a bit of a caricature of noncomformity, but if you can suspend your disbelief, it is a sweet story of young love and individuality.
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LibraryThing member MrStevens
This book would make it to my top ten (if I had such a list). For anyone who has felt like an outsider for being themselves.
LibraryThing member Lindsayg
Everybody goes on and on about this one, maybe I'd have liked it more if I hadn't heard so much hype about it. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I just didn't get as excited about it as a lot of people seem to have. It's all about nonconformity and being yourself. I guess maybe I've read enough YA
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books in that vein to last me a while.
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LibraryThing member Omrythea
A well-loved read, Stargirl touches my heart. This is a book I think every older elementary kid or younger teen ought to read. We can learn so much from Stargirl.
LibraryThing member Amzzz
Stargirl is far from ordinary and has baffled all her schoolmates with her odd behaviour. Leo loves her, but wishes she would just fit in...
This was a thought provoking and interesting book, although a little random at times.
LibraryThing member sara_k
Stargirl is about insiders and outsiders; it is about fitting in even if that means losing your true self; it is about what we lose when we try to all be the same.

Stargirl is a new student at Mica High and she doesn't fit in. She dresses in strange clothes, plays her ukelele and serenades students
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during lunch, she decorates her desk! At first people just stare at Stargirl but soon Leo is entranced by Stargirl as is most of the rest of the school. Stargirl doesn't win everyone over but she does stir up a student body that seems to have had a sameness in the whole lives not just in school.

Stargirl and Leo fall in love around the time that feelings turn against Stargirl. Suddenly her quirky all embracing ways are seen as traitorous to the school and she is shunned. Leo finds out the important question pretty early - Whose acceptance do you care about most? He loves Stargirl, he feels himself expanding in her presence and learning more about himself and the world, and yet he is embarrassed by some of her behaviours. In an attempt to fit his two worlds together, Leo educates Stargirl on how "everyone" behaves and she tries valiantly to conform. It is to no avail and finally Stargirl reverts to her old ways.

You can't please all the people all the time and if they think you are pandering to them, they will despise you.

Leo loses the most in this story but Stargirl, who is the true to herself person that all outcasts wish to be, is both glorious and painful.

This book is perfect for middle school students who are feeling both the glory of self-identification and the pressure to fit in.
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LibraryThing member melissathelibrarian
In an ordinary Arizona town, life is predictable and conventional… until Stargirl joins the local high school. Stargirl is everything the rest of the student body is not… she is "the rabbit in the hat", "the recycler of our garbage". Stargirl does not share the conventions or concerns of her
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fellow students… she does not know how to belong to the group (nor is she concerned that she doesn't)… she can only be her loving, caring self.

As Leo and Stargirl's relationship blossoms, Stargirl's fans and followers begin to question her and push her away. Leo is torn between being a part of the group (the school) or a part of Stargirl's life... and slowly he realizes it is harder to give up his "status" within his peers than it is to give up Stargirl.

Stargirl is uninhibited and not bound by the conventions or expectations of the masses. She is impressionable, though only by those she cares about. Leo is like any of us, torn between that which makes him incredibly happy, and the comfort that comes with being normal and taking few risks. Leo is scared to embrace the unknown.

Stargirl and Leo represent two different takes on life. Stargirl embraces the great perhaps, while Leo is lost in the Labyrinth. Stargirl is motivated by the positive, magical and wonderful… Leo is motivated by the logical, practical and doubtful.

Though Leo feels the loss of Stargirl, I am not convinced he would embrace her as a friend and lover if she came back into his life. He has grown by the end of the story, he has more compassion, but the author does not convince me his motivation has changed. I think he would just want Stargirl to forgive him… he would want her acceptance, too.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
Stargirl is instantly noticed at Mica High School because she is so different. The novel follows Stargirl's experience at Mica High as she goes from novelty to popular to shunned. Leo, the narrator of the story, falls in love with Stargirl. Through his eyes we see the pressure to conform and the
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courage it takes to be an outsider.
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½ (2142 ratings; 3.9)
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