Book Review: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Leo is a sophomore trying to blend in at his Arizona high school when a strange new girl, who calls herself “Stargirl,” arrives. Slowly, she begins to change Leo in all her peculiarities. We follow the poignant coming-of-age tale through Leo’s eyes, as Stargirl is first perceived as being merely odd, then loved by all, to inevitably being loathed.

Stargirl is that girl who, eccentric though she may be, is ultimately respected for her integrity, being true to her oddities, no matter what others say about her… until she isn’t. It’s devastating when someone so unique as Stargirl  surrenders to the pressures of “being normal”. Watching Stargirl’s evolution is an unexpectedly moving experience of disillusionment, loss, and gentle triumph.

While Leo is the narrator, Stargirl is the true star (no pun intended) of this novel for young adults. This book touched and haunted me in a deep way that is not easy to describe. My only advice is to read it. Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl is both an unforgettable character and memorable book.

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