Booktalk: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


By popular request (well … okay, ONE request), I wrote a booktalk for Stargirl by prolific author Jerry Spinelli.  It was a little tricky to write this booktalk because there wasn’t one big cliffhanger that I could use as a hook.  But booktalks can also focus on more subtle things, like school dynamics or character development.  Stargirl fans should check out the sequel, Love, Stargirl to see what happens after the first book ends (the sequel takes place a year later and is told from Stargirl’s point of view).


You’d think that being special, unique, and one of a kind would be wonderful, but that’s not the way high school works.  Now, Stargirl Caraway is definitely one of a kind.  She wears unusual clothes, she wears unusual makeup, and she plays the ukelele and sings to the other students in the cafeteria.  On top of all the unusual things she does, Stargirl’s name is also one of a kind.  The other kids in school don’t know what to think of her.  Every day they look to see what weird outfit  she’s wearing.  They watch her play the ukelele and sing “Happy Birthday” to the other students.  And they wonder … is Stargirl an actress hired by the principal to shake up the school?  Or is she for real?  Why would anyone do so many things that would make her stand out in a crowd?  Doesn’t she know what high school is really like?

Nobody realized how Stargirl was going to change the entire school until she became a cheerleader.  Suddenly, it was like the students were dormant mud frogs, and Stargirl was the rain that woke them up.  Stargirl is going to learn the pros and cons of being popular.  She’s going to learn all about the consequences of what it really means to be one of a kind.

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