Monday, March 13, 2017

Audiobook Review: "Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli

Leo Borlock moved to Mica, Arizona five years ago.  It is a young town, built around one company really.  Life at the high school is relatively simple.  Everyone is basically the same.  Yes, there are cliques and whatnot, but there is a constant degree of normalness that pervades the entire student body.  Enter:  Stargirl Caraway, the definitive free spirit.  She rocks the school with her quirky individuality that everyone sort of warms up to, until it becomes too much.  They turn on her.  Leo, however, is smitten with her, but he's not sure he can survive the evil eye of the other students.  Can he just be with Stargirl?  Or is he too concerned about what the others think?

I listened to this audiobook on a whim one Saturday afternoon.  It had been awhile since I heard a book, so I needed to pick a short one and this came in at around 4 hours.  I had wanted to read it anyway, so win-win.  The bonus to all this winning?  John Ritter is the narrator.  That was a lovely surprise, and he did a fantastic job.

Stargirl is such an interesting character!  She is a little over the top sometimes, a little aggressively different, but that is okay.  She has nothing but kindness for everyone she meets (and even those she's never met).  She has a beautiful outlook on life and it killed me to see that try to be squashed by high school social norms.  Leo was a typical high school kid, who rides the wave of being average like it's his job.  I really wish he had a stronger backbone, especially toward the end, but I was glad to see the permanent lasting effect that Stargirl had on him.  I'll admit, I shed at tear at the very last line.

I'm thrilled that this book is basically timeless.  It is fifteen years old at this point, but doesn't show it.  Stargirl could be a symbol or metaphor for any high school kid who is outside the "norm".  I don't want to say that Leo is a symbol for an ally, but maybe for someone who is trying to be an ally?  Or for someone who needs reminding that in order to be someone's ally, you have to get out of your own head and make supporting that person more important?  In any event, this is an older book that still deserves it's space on the shelf in upper middle grade and young adult collections.

*****
Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli
Scholastic/Listening Library, 2002
186 pages, ~4 hours
Source:  Library
*****

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1 comment:

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I love timeless reads. And short listens are always a win.

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