Sunday, January 24, 2010

Book Review - Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Author: Jerry Spinelli
Year: 2004
Page: 208
Genre: Fiction - Young Adult

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
Part fairy godmother, part outcast, part dream-come-true, the star of Spinelli's novel shares many of the mythical qualities as the protagonist of his Maniac Magee. Spinelli poses searching questions about loyalty to one's friends and oneself and leaves readers to form their own answers, said PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 12-up.

First Sentence:
When I was little, my uncle Pete had a necktie with a porcupine painted on it.

Why did I pick this book?
I saw some other blogger mentioned it, the premise sounds intriguing. Plus I love its simplistic cover and its colors (the cover I have has a blue background, with a yellow star and green matchstick girl with a triangle skirt).

My thoughts:
  • I actually don't quite know how I feel about this book. I like the concept of it (accept others who are different, be proud of your own individuality, conformity / being like everybody else isn't always the best), but somehow the story fell a bit short, like something is missing, and I couldn't quite explain why.

  • I think perhaps Stargirl is a bit too unrealistic? That she is too naive? I am not sure if I like the protagonist, Leo, that much either. I suppose since now I'm an adult, "whose opinions do you value more" and popularity isn't as big of a deal as it was during teenage years

  • I do like the character Archie - it'd be cool to have someone like that around

  • I found out there is a sequel, Love, Stargirl, not sure if I'll read it. I don't hate this book but don't love it either. There are a few quotes I like that described Stargirl:

    "On the contrary, she is one of us. Most decidedly. She is us more than we are us. She is, I think, who we we really are. Or were." (p32)

    "An act? No. If anybody is acting, it's us." (p33)

    "You'll know her more by your questions than by her answers." (p35)

    Throughout the day Stargirl had been dropping money. She was the Johnny Appleseed of loose change: a penny here, a nickel there. Tossed to the sidewalk, laid on a shelf or bench. Even quarters.
    "I hate change," she said. "It's so... jangly."
    "Do you realize how much you must throw away in a year?" I said.
    "Did you ever see a little kid's face when he spots a penny on a sidewalk?" she said. (p117-118)

    I pointed to it (a tiny wagon about the size of a fist.) "You collecting stones, or what?"
    "It's my happy wagon," she said. "Actually, it could just as well be called an unhappy wagon, but I prefer happy."
    "So what's it all about?"
    "It's about how I feel. When something makes me happy, I put a pebble in the wagon. If I'm unhappy, I take a pebble out. There are twenty pebbles in all."(p121)


Have you read this book? 
If you have, I would love to hear what you think!
I'll link your review here if you wish!

100+ Reading
Young Adult


  1. I've never tried this one.
    Great review!
    I love your review layout :)

  2. @Juju - thanks! This is a quick read. I don't regret reading it, but wish I like it better...