It’s time for the ‘A-Z challenge’- a post every day in April (except Sundays) working up through the alphabet. This year I will be writing about books that I read before I started this blog, that were important to me in some way. The vast majority are ones I still have on my bookshelf today, despite a move in house and sometimes many years since I first read it.
S is for Star & Spinelli
Book: Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli
What is it about:
Star girl is the moniker taken on by Susan Caraway, the new girl at school. She is unlike anything they have ever seen before. In a school where everyone is concerned about fitting in and keeping up appearances, Star Girl is different and proud of it. She wears bright dress up clothes, brings flowers for her desk, she plays a ukulele and sings happy birthday to strangers, she cheers for both teams at sporting events… At first people are a bit stunned and unsure about her. Then when she joins the cheer leading squad they pick up on her infectious energy and accept her, and perhaps also themselves- they start to also act in fun, ‘out there’, creative ways. But the tide turns again when she is blamed for the other team winning when she is considered too supportive of them, and she is ostracized. Throughout this journey, we also follow the narrators feelings towards Stagirl. Leo is a quiet boy who collects unusual and funny ties. He is intrigued and drawn to Stargirl’s non conformity energy and giving spirit. He is with her romantically, and tries to be more like her himself, but struggles with the judgement of his peers.
When I first read this book:
About 5 years ago.
Why it is important to me:
Stargirl is such joyous character. She is empathetic, giving, creative, energetic. She does things because she thinks they are worthwhile, and will make either herself or others happy, rather than because it is the ‘done thing’. This book advocates for being yourself and affecting others in a positive way, and condemns forced uniformity and judgemental mindsets.
Who should read it:
It would be best for preteens/teens, but I enjoyed reading it as an adult also.