Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

"And then I saw her. At lunch. She wore an off-white dress so long it covered her shoes. It had ruffles around the neck and cuffs and looked like it could have been her great-grandmother's wedding gown. Her hair was the color of sand. It fell to her shoulders. Something was strapped across her back, but it wasn't a book bag. At first I thought it was a miniature guitar. I found out later it was a ukulele." (4)

Leo doesn't know what to make of the new student at high school. Stargirl Caraway comes to school in weird outfits. She sings happy birthday to everyone while accompanying herself with her ukulele. She makes up songs about isocles triangles. She asks questions about trolls in U.S. History. She cheers for both teams at basketball games, and she pledges allegiance to the United Turtles of America and the fruit bats of Borneo. As the school year continues, Leo has difficulty with the repercussions of his friendship with Stargirl as her popularity fades and her weirdness becomes too overwhelming for their classmates to ignore. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a pitch perfect portrayal at the extremes we go to to become popular, and what it means when someone questions that conformity.

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