Middle Grade Monday is an original weekly meme to spotlight a great Middle Grade read!
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.
I won a copy of Stargirl when I was in 5th grade for being the nerdy 5th grader that read more books than any of the other 5th graders in school. (I still have my reading chart. A whooping 150 books.) I think I actually won a prize pack of treats and a few different books- Stargirl, Flipped, and a couple of other lower MG books. But Stargirl was my absolute favorite and it’s still a favorite to this day.
The thing that stuck with me most was that Stargirl was just unabashedly happy to be herself. It was a great lesson on how it feels and looks when we try to shrink people into meeting our expectations. As I grow older, I also understand Leo’s desperation for Stargirl to be accepted. We want the people we love to be happy, safe, and loved by everyone they meet and we want everyone to see them the way we do.
Even seeing the cover of this book gives me a hit of nostalgia.
Time for a reread.