A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I discovered romance in the exquisite pages of Gail Carson Levine’s classic children’s novel, Ella Enchanted. A few years later came a different book that showed me another side of life and love.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli tells the story of a new girl in a small Arizona high school, a girl who confounds everyone by being just who she wants to be and doing just what she wants to do, and the boy who falls in love with her in the face of scorn from his classmates. Leo, the narrator, is a typical teenage boy who, like everyone else, is at first puzzled and curious when Stargirl shows up, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to strangers on her ukulele, wearing strange outfits, congratulating random people for their large and small achievements, and just being nice to everyone. The students, as high schoolers often are, are fickle. While Stargirl and Leo fall for each other, the student body swings from adoration to open hostility, and Leo is faced with the choice: her or them.