Sunday, September 20, 2009

BC Consensus: Stargirl

Would you like to crème de la crème from our book club dicussions this month? You are in luck! In August, we read Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl. Here are some of the comments our members made about the book:

“I think a name can be an integral part of us. So many times, I don't particularly like a name, but then once I come to love the person, that name seems precious to me too. It's no longer a stand-alone word that can be assessed objectively. It represents all the things about the person you love and is part of who they are. Having said that, I think there might be reasons to change a name and Stargirl's is as good as any.”

“I like so many things about Stargirl, aka Susan. She doesn't hide any part of herself -- she shines for all the world to see. Also, she genuinely cares about other people, not because she's a saint, but because she likes people and wants to make a difference. Sometimes I thought she acted a little too zany and wondered if anyone in high school would really act that way. Stargirl is refreshing in her outlook on life and classmates. Too many people get caught up in labels, stereotypes, or prejudices that prevent them from reaching out to others. I also admired her ability to not take anything too seriously.”

“I don't know if I can say that I liked Stargirl or not. For starters, I listened to the audio book read by John Ritter. His reading was NOT a positive contribution to the book for me. I wasn't very drawn to either Stargirl or the normal students. I appreciated the point that she was different in her own way, but the specifics of that didn't draw me in. Some of them did, I guess. I liked how she could see the world from her own point of view and the things she did for other people. She didn't seem like a teenager to me--all that self-possession and awareness seemed false in a character her age. All of those unbelievable premises made it hard for me to trust in the believability of the plot or the truth of the lessons and conclusions being drawn by the author.”

“The book made me think about high school and how we were all trying to survive. I have had a lot of experience teaching teenage girls and you can see how desperately they each want to be accepted. It's funny how a few control the lives of so many. I liked that Stargirl did her own thing. Yes, some of it made me uncomfortable, but that's because as a high school girl I can remember wanting to be counted among the cool kids. At that age we just don't see our own uniqueness or the uniqueness of others. Stargirl made me happy. I liked that she cared so much about other people. I also read Love, Stargirl and highly recommend it if you are curious to know the rest of the story.”

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