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Stargirl
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About the Author

JERRY SPINELLI is the author of many novels for young readers, including The Warden's Daughter; Stargirl; Love, Stargirl; Milkweed; Crash; Wringer; and Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; along with Knots in My Yo-Yo String, the autobiography of his childhood. A graduate of Gettysburg College, he lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, poet and author Eileen Spinelli.

Reviews

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. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Gr 6-10-High school is a time of great conformity, when being just like everybody else is of paramount importance. So it is no surprise that Stargirl Caraway causes such excitement and confusion when she arrives at Mica High in Arizona. Initially, everyone is charmed by her unconventional behavior- she wears unusual clothing, she serenades the lunchroom with her ukulele, she practices random acts of kindness, she is cheerleader extraordinaire in a place with no school spirit. Naturally, this cannot last and eventually her individuality is reviled. The story is told by Leo, who falls in love with Stargirl's zany originality, but who then finds himself unable to let go of the need to be conventional. Spinelli's use of a narrator allows readers the distance necessary to appreciate Stargirl's eccentricity and Leo's need to belong to the group, without removing them from the immediacy of the story. That makes the ending all the more disappointing-to discover that Leo is looking back imposes an unnecessary adult perspective on what happened in high school. The prose lapses into occasionally unfortunate flowery flights, but this will not bother those readers-girls especially-who will understand how it feels to not quite fit the mold and who attempt to exult in their differences.-Sharon Grover, Arlington County Department of Libraries, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"A magical and heartbreaking tale."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Spinelli has produced a poetic allegorical tale about the magnificence and rarity of true nonconformity." -- The New York Times "Part fairy godmother, part outcast, part dream-come-true, [Stargirl] possesses many of the mythical qualities of Maniac Magee." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred "Stargirl is luminescent. . . . This book resonates long after the cover is closed." -- The Detroit News and Free Press "Stargirl tells us the captivating story of a magical, mysterious girl. . . . A wonder tribute to nonconformity." -- Chicago Tribune

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