By Jerry Spinelli
Published by Alfred A. Knopf
Copyright © 2000
One day there was nothing but desert and cactus, and the next there is a thriving community built around a new electronics manufacturer in what is now called Mica, Arizona. Leo Borlock’s dad received a job with this manufacturer and his family moved to Arizona from Pennsylvania when he was twelve.
Leo is now seventeen and has carved out a niche for himself in Mica High. He isn’t the most popular guy in school, but he and his best friend do produce and host a local high school cable access show called “Hot Seat”. Leo is shy so he produces, and Kevin is very outspoken so he hosts the show. It works out well for both of them. Things are going pretty good in Mica he doesn’t make any waves and neither does anyone else, until someone named Stargirl decides to enter public school after being home schooled all of her life.
Susan Caraway, A.K.A. Stargirl, believes in being an individual. She cares about people without caring what they think. She does her own thing and she is happy. At first people just look at her funny and wonder what she is going to do next, but eventually her antics begin to endear her to the rest of the school community. She becomes a cheerleader and suddenly her caring and individuality aren’t so appreciated anymore. The Student body begins to shun Stargirl and the boy who has come to love her Leo Borlock. Nobody talks to them or looks at them. This doesn’t bother Stargirl, but it does bother Leo. It makes Leo feel very alone, and he can’t choose between the adoration of Stargirl, and the acceptance of the school community. Then, out of the blue, He doesn’t have to.
Stargirl is a story about the difficulties of high school popularity and/or the lack thereof. It shows the reader that sometimes people just won’t accept you. You can stay as you are or you can change, but if you change there is still no guarantee that people will accept you. This is a wonderfully moving book about individuality, regret, and love. It is a must read!