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Love, Stargirl

Review

Love, Stargirl

Thousands of miles from home. No friends her own age. Homeschooled. Missing her ex-boyfriend badly.

For any other girl all of this could spell disaster, or maybe the beginning of a teen movie that ends up with her becoming insanely popular and riding off into the sunset with the quarterback of the football team. But Stargirl Caraway is not any other girl. She's the girl who wore frontier dresses, who played "Happy Birthday" on her ukelele and sang to her classmates on their birthdays, and who cheered for all the teams --- not just the home team --- when she was a cheerleader. When she left Arizona, she left a lot of people who didn't understand her. She also left the boy she loved, Leo Borlock. Her chronicle of her life in Pennsylvania is a letter to Leo.

Since Stargirl moved to an undisclosed city in Pennsylvania, she has not had an easy time adjusting. She misses Leo but can't decide if she's better off with him or without him. Her happy wagon, which she fills with pebbles when she's happy, is nearly empty. Although she's not happy, she's not lonely either. Her new home is full of interesting characters, including Dootsie, the five-year-old human bean; Margie, who believes that love and creativity can be expressed through donuts; angry Alvina with her glittered pinky fingernail; and Perry, the thief who just might be Stargirl's newest crush.

There is no desert in Pennsylvania, no Senor Saguaro or Order of the Stone Bone, but Stargirl finds magic in new places and things, like the hill where she makes a calendar with spatulas and going with her dad on milk runs. As the year progresses she plans a Winter Solstice celebration for all her new friends, even hoping that her pal Betty Lou will leave her house for the first time in nine years. It will be Stargirl's chance to share who she is with everyone who has become close to her since she moved to Pennsylvania. But she has a lot of pebbles to put in her happy wagon first.

It helps to have read STARGIRL before picking up this companion novel, but whether or not you did the bunny hop at the Ocotillo Ball, you'll be fascinated by Stargirl's straightforward, quirky personality all over again. Stargirl's neighbors and friends will remind you of something out of a Tim Burton movie --- slightly strange, over the top and completely memorable. Enter Stargirl's world and be prepared to see normal things in strange and wonderful ways.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on August 14, 2007

Love, Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli

  • Publication Date: August 14, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0375813756
  • ISBN-13: 9780375813757