Book - 2000
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2000
ISBN: 9780375822339
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Spinelli, J 2000
Characteristics: 186 pages ; 22 cm
Audience: Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.2 6.0 41562
Alternative Title: Star girl


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Gina_Vee Jun 02, 2018

This was one of the most influential books of my childhood.

MelifluousView May 25, 2018

This story was challenging and heartwarming. I want to be like Stargirl...even though it's easier to be like Leo. I liked Leo a lot, and I love how he changed because of Stargirl. She made a lasting impact.

Jul 23, 2017

Her only crime was giving too much love.

This one of my favorite kids’ books, and one of the few books that made me shed more than a few tears. I’ve also seen it have a positive effect on middle- and high school students. I read it as an adult, and wish I’d read it forty years ago.

Basically, it’s a tale of nonconformity, and it’s a simple little “slice of life” story. Beneath that, the reader is taken on a journey of discovery of their own attitudes and preconceptions as the narrator Leo discovers this strange person who calls herself “Stargirl”. Besides being “realistic fiction”, this is also fairy-tale (is she an Elvish princess? A fairy goddaughter? A younger version of Giselle in Disney’s “Enchanted”?); this is an allegory (is she Jesus? The trial, crucifixion, and resurrection are all figuratively there, with some other hints – there are even characters corresponding to Peter and Mary Magdalene); this is a myth (is she the “spider woman” of Campbell’s monomyth?), and this is a classical tragedy (is Leo his own undoing?). At the climax, when this dream has become a nightmare and the reader is angry with poor Leo (who in turn is angry with himself and out in the desert alone, fuming), the unthinkable happens. “The ice shatters” and the whole story is turned on its head (Tolkien’s “eucatastrophe” on a smaller scale); we readers realize – well, yes, right: nothing else could possibly have taken place.

…But by then it’s too late for Leo. Or is it?

There. Hope that didn’t have too many spoilers. An adult can read it in a couple of hours; do so before the movie comes out, supposedly in the next couple of years (2018 or 19).

GCPL_Teen Jun 29, 2017

This classic is great for boys and girls alike who see themselves as quirky or eccentric. It details the cruelty of high schoolers towards anyone branded as different. The message of kindness and nonconformity will appeal to a wide audience.

Jun 26, 2017

This book was so good!!it was so romantic!! It's a must read!

Jul 15, 2016

Ryan and Reagan

Jun 25, 2016

This book was great

Apr 13, 2016

this is the most suspenseful story i have ever read. best book ever it teaches us we are supposed to act and to enjoy the little things in life.truly beautiful and inspiring.

Jan 19, 2016

the perfect tale of unusual and different

Dec 28, 2015

Enchanted, rich, and sentimental, all while staying simple and sweetly true to harsh reality. Stargirl was such a different book, nothing like anything I've read before. Like Stargirl herself, this little novel stands out from the pack and quietly shines with a light completely its own. I really enjoyed it. Granted, the book can be a little slow at times (I'll admit, the middle might bore some readers), but it's only because the pace of the story is meant to be that way and builds itself slowly but surely. The ending is quite bittersweet but does feel more or less finished and rings true to the slice of life genre of this book. Spinelli masterfully spins this tale; his prose, dialogue, and writing style all give the book a charming, innocent feel to it. And it all really works. Leo is a relate-able main character, and Stargirl manages to be both eccentric and heartfelt at the same time.
A sweet little novel with a sweet, meaningful story. 4 stars. :)

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Sep 08, 2018

thevales thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 12, 2018

PeggyCarter16 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 11, 2016

lynx_girl thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Apr 26, 2016

Bookworm_152 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Dec 28, 2015

Love_Legolas_111 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 20, 2015

black_cat_2717 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

Jul 19, 2015

YewandeO thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 17

blue_dolphin_6896 Jul 14, 2014

blue_dolphin_6896 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 24, 2014

violet_swan_218 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and under

View All Ages


Add a Quote

May 14, 2018

“When a star girl dies she becomes the light in the dark”

Jul 04, 2016

"When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light."

Jan 09, 2016

Since September, she had been a performer-unique and outrageous-on the high school stage. She was the opposite of cool; she held nothing back.

Jan 09, 2016

For years the strangers among us had passed sullenly in the hallways; now we looked, we nodded, we smiled. If someone got an A, others celebrated, too. If someone sprained an ankle, others felt the pain. We discovered the color of each other's eyes.
It was a rebellion she led, a rebellion for rather than against. For ourselves. For the dormant mud frogs we had been so long.

Jan 09, 2016

On the contrary, she [Stargirl] is one of us. Most decidedly. She is us more than we are us. She is, I think, who we really are. Or were.

Aug 08, 2015

"She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day.

She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh.
My sense of humor had always measured up to everyone else's; but timid
introverted me, I showed it sparingly: I was a smiler. In her presence I
threw back my head and laughed out loud for the first time in my life”

Aug 05, 2015

“Heart and head are contrary historians.”

Jul 13, 2015

“When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light.”
― Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

Jul 13, 2015

“You’ll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know.”
― Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

Jul 13, 2015

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. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

View All Quotes


Add a Summary

Jul 11, 2016

Stargirl, the strange new girl, and Leo, become girlfriend and boyfriend. Leo is awed by how Stargirl can ignore the teasing of their classmates. Leo soon finds himself in love with Stargirl and, but they are finding that the whispering of their classmates is getting worse and worse. Leo wants Stargirl to be normal. One day Stargirl comes to school and she is dressed normally. She looks like a normal teenager. Leo is proud of her but Stargirl is no longer happy. Can Leo and Stargirl fix their relationship? Or will it crumble like Stargirl's popularity if she changes back? Stargirl loves Leo, but what if he can't love her back for who she is?

Jul 13, 2015

Stargirl is narrated by Leo Borlock, an eleventh grader who is content to conform to his close-minded high school environment. Leo and his entire high school are jolted out of their comfortable, conventional existence by the arrival of Stargirl Caraway, an unapologetically unique student who has been homeschooled and is now attending high school for the first time. For the first half of the school year, Leo observes Stargirl and her classmates’ reactions to her odd behavior. The students first regard Stargirl with suspicion and are afraid to socialize with her. As time passes, some of the students fall under Stargirl’s spell and become more individual and open-minded themselves; however, by February of the school year, the students have all come together to express their distrust of Stargirl. When Stargirl refuses to conform to their standards, they ultimately see her as a threat to the community.

JCLAmyF May 23, 2013

A striking young woman who does just as she pleases causes an uproar when she joins a local high school. The student body, previously a fairly homogenous group of teens, doesn't know whether to react to her with respect and attraction or revulsion. One young man in particular finds himself torn between really liking her and all her eccentricities, and having a hard time dealing with how she alienates people because of her differences.

Aug 29, 2012

Everything about Mica High School is normal, until a homeschooled girl, named Stargirl, begins attending here for her sophomore year. Stargirl is a rather unique girl. She goes around the cafeteria playing a ukulele, she carries around a rat, she even gives little gifts and cards to people she doesn't even know. When she first comes to the school, people love her. The boys in school are struck by her beauty. The girls are both jealous and excited to have her. When Stargirl takes an interest in a young man, Leo Borlock, he's full of excitement and anxiety that he could possibly be falling in love with such an interesting girl. He also wants to feature her on his school television show - Hot Seat.

The students come to love her individuality, enthusiasm, and her silliness. She quickly becomes popular, till her determination to bring happiness to everyone changes everyone's opinion about her. Suddenly, Stargirl isn't the popular girl that everyone enjoyed. The students start to question her differences, and she is soon rejected by almost everyone in the school, except for Leo, who falls in love with her, and - now Stargirl's only friend - Dori Dilson. Stargirl and Leo are having a great relationship till something wants to change his mind. Leo may not be strong enough to make the right decision.

Stargirl is a truly inspiring story. Jerry Spinelli made a book that many can relate to. Many students and people today want to try to fit in, but the character Stargirl proves it's okay to be different. Stargirl teaches you to be yourself. You will be drawn into the story, as you can see yourself in several of the situations encountered in Stargirl.

Feb 11, 2010

Leo Borlock is like any other teenager in highschool. But when he comes face to face with the new outcast Stargirl Caraway, Leo's life is changed forever by love. But will that love be strong enough to stop Leo from wanting to be normal.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at KHCPL

To Top