March 13, 2011

Review - Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (audiobook)

Description from Goodreads

"Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of 'Stargirl, Stargirl.' She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. 

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love."

This story is short, sweet, and touching. It's told from Leo's point of view, which made it even more interesting. At first, Leo is confused but intrigued by this mysterious girl who has shown up at his school. She dresses strangely, serenades fellow students with "Happy Birthday" in the cafeteria while strumming her ukelele, and cheers for the other school's team as well as their own. She's just so unusual - picture a young (but more modestly dressed) Lady Gaga. Leo finds himself inexplicably drawn to her, and as his feelings for her grow, the other students start to turn their backs on Stargirl. Leo has to decide what is more important - his feelings for Stargirl or the opinion of his friends and classmates.  

This books really makes you think about issues of conformity and individuality. It makes you think about how you treat others. It brings up a lot of questions about the way people treat one another. Why is someone popular one day and mocked the next? Why do we care so much about what others think of us? The ending was a little disappointing for me, but there is a sequel called Love, Stargirl. I plan to read it and continue with Stargirl's story. 

The audiobook version of Stargirl was narrated by the late John Ritter who did an excellent job of capturing Leo's conflicted emotions. The unabridged book only spans four CDs, so it's a quick audiobook to get through. I think this story will appeal to readers of all ages but may  really resonate with middle- and high-school students in particular.  


Katie said...

Stargirl is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES. I just love her. I wish I were more like her. I was so happy to see her on Super Librarian; hopefully she will get a new wave of attention :)

Beth S. said...

I really enjoyed John Ritter as a narrator too. He did an awesome job. Makes me sad he's not still around to narrate more books and make us laugh with his acting talents.

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