Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


Since I work with students in grades 6 through 8, much of my recreational reading is of books recommended by the kids. Yesterday, one of the girls highly recommended Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli to me, so while I was out running errands, I swung by the library, checked out the book, and started reading in the moments between other evening duties. I stayed up a little too late and finished the book.

Was the book well-written? Yes, indeed. At times the language was almost lyrical.

Was the main character Stargirl likeable? I won’t give any spoilers, but once again I would say I would be pleased to meet Stargirl, a.k.a. Susan, in the real world.

The ‘iffy’ bit for me was I don’t think Stargirl’s unique character was believable. One explanation offered for Stargirl’s unusual character was that she was homeschooled by parents who encouraged her creativity and individuality. This wasn’t enough of an explanation for me, and was my only disappointment with the book.

The themes explored in this quickly read book are some of the deep themes of life:

  1. Why are people so controlled by what other people think, or might think of them?
  2. Is popularity something valuable, to be desired?
  3. Why do people sometimes hate those who are truly good? I was reminded of the historical writings about the persecutions of saints.
  4. People tend to fear those they don’t understand, or attribute to them their own base motives.

This is a thought-provoking book. Read it. Tell me what you think.

4 Responses to “Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli”

  1. Lisa says:

    Oh my…a friend gave me that book when I was a kid. I remember very little about it other than that I enjoyed it. Funny to have you mention it!

  2. Haven’t heard of this book but if it is thought provoking, then I am all for it! I’d find a copy in amazon next time I shop online.