Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bookclubbers, I Give You Stargirl

Well I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rules, and the discussion was wonderful. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend that you do. It is so prevalent in our world today and you will love the way it makes you stop and think. So many relatable characters and so many touching themes--absolutely a must-read.


The next book on the book club agenda is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. First of all, I love Mr. Spinelli. If you haven't read Maniac Magee, you must. Secondly, I have heard raving reviews of Stargirl from many friends, so I cannot wait to read it. I hope you will join me. Here is a thorough and intriguing review from Amazon.com:

"She was homeschooling gone amok." "She was an alien." "Her parents were circus acrobats." These are only a few of the theories concocted to explain Stargirl Caraway, a new 10th grader at Arizona's Mica Area High School who wears pioneer dresses and kimonos to school, strums a ukulele in the cafeteria, laughs when there are no jokes, and dances when there is no music. The whole school, not exactly a "hotbed of nonconformity," is stunned by her, including our 16-year-old narrator Leo Borlock: "She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl."
In time, incredulity gives way to out-and-out adoration as the student body finds itself helpless to resist Stargirl's wide-eyed charm, pure-spirited friendliness, and penchant for celebrating the achievements of others. In the ultimate high school symbol of acceptance, she is even recruited as a cheerleader. Popularity, of course, is a fragile and fleeting state, and bit by bit, Mica sours on their new idol. Why is Stargirl showing up at the funerals of strangers? Worse, why does she cheer for the opposing basketball teams? The growing hostility comes to a head when she is verbally flogged by resentful students on Leo's televised Hot Seat show in an episode that is too terrible to air. While the playful, chin-held-high Stargirl seems impervious to the shunning that ensues, Leo, who is in the throes of first love (and therefore scornfully deemed "Starboy"), is not made of such strong stuff: "I became angry. I resented having to choose. I refused to choose. I imagined my life without her and without them, and I didn't like it either way."
Jerry Spinelli, author of Newbery Medalist Maniac Magee, Newbery Honor Book Wringer, and many other excellent books for teens, elegantly and accurately captures the collective, not-always-pretty emotions of a high school microcosm in which individuality is pitted against conformity. Spinelli's Stargirl is a supernatural teen character--absolutely egoless, altruistic, in touch with life's primitive rhythms, meditative, untouched by popular culture, and supremely self-confident. It is the sensitive Leo whom readers will relate to as he grapples with who she is, who he is, who they are together as Stargirl and Starboy, and indeed, what it means to be a human being on a planet that is rich with wonders. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson --

Please comment if you would like to participate, and let us know when you'd like to discuss...



Note: If you click on "Best Price" and then "Return to Product Information," you can find copies of the book for a penny.

12 comments:

Marie W said...

Just a note. I had this book in my classroom library when teaching and LOVE it. It is a fabulous story about things I think we all struggle with, and was especially potent for my junior high kids. Fabulous pick, Mrs. Cropper!

Traci said...

I'm in! Just bought my copy and it's currently being shipped!
-Mark said, after seeing the email from Amazon, "Did you just buy a pre-teen book online?" I was like, your darn right I did, and it was just a penny!" Can't wait to read it.

Anna said...

I just got it from the Library today and Danny and I are reading it.

Anna said...

Finished! We are ready when you are.

lori said...

my copy is in the mail...

Eric, Halcyon, Viana and Brooke said...

Hooray! The book sits here on my desk as I type! My friend came over last night and saw it on my desk and said, "Ooooo, I LOVE that book!" Discussion at the end of Oct??

Amy Jean said...

i'm in...arriving thurs.

Vicky said...

I would love to join the fun! I'll discuss whenever you'd like.

liz said...

I have this on hold at our library -- I also requested Maniac Magee :)

jeanine said...

I just finished it this morning... so good! Ready to discuss whenever you are!

Amy Jean said...

finished it last night! i'm very intrigued... ready when you are

Vicky said...

I'm finished as well. Ready to go!