Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

rating: 4/5
genre: young adult romance

Lou is a typical high school kid - going to a high school full of other typical high school kids. When a new girl comes to class one day, looking nothing like your typical high school kid, life begins to get interesting. Her name is Stargirl and Lou has a hard time figuring out what to DO with such a girl. Wearing pioneer dresses to school? Serenading the cafeteria with a ukulele? Looking for the GOOD in people?? As much as Lou wants to like her, high school is not an easy place to be different and this makes relationships complicated things.

The language in this book is superb. Spinelli is not writing down to teens and often the book has an almost poetic appeal:

I liked the feeling moonlight gave me, as if it wasn't the opposite of day, but its underside, its private side, when the fabulous purred on my snow-white sheet like some dark cat come in from the desert.

I love how this book deals with the issue of being popular - whether or not it is something to strive for and how kids in high school can loose themselves in the quest for popularity. The romance in this novel is sweet, fresh and innocent - the heart racing backdrop to the never-ending crises that come up in school. I can't wait to put this one in the hands of my daughter a few years down the road - I think it'll be the catalyst for some very interesting discussion.

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