Book review: Stargirl

    • Book review: Stargirl

      Dear Jerry Spinelli,

      I’m not your typical teenage girl. I am homeschooled by my wonderful mom. I have eight siblings who can be irritating at times, though I still love them. I love creating art from reusable items like cans, plastic, and newspapers. I blog. I use photography to ­express myself, and I can’t go a day without reading one of my favorite adventure books.

      Not long ago, I was what some people would call a wallflower. I was very self-conscious and would never raise my hand when the teacher asked a question. My list of friends was as blank as a sheet of white paper. And I would have rather eaten raw fish than socialize with others my age. But reading your book Stargirl inspired me to embrace my individuality.

      When I first picked up your book, Mr. Spinelli, the title struck me as a bit odd, but as I began reading, I started to comprehend why you chose it. Stargirl gave me a better perspective on how both children and adults resolve situations when coming in contact with new people. I think the reason some people don’t treat others with ­respect is because they don’t respect and love themselves.

      I learned this firsthand at a school I attended. My first year there was third grade. The student body was 99.9 percent Christian, and I stood out because I wore a headscarf like many Muslim females do in public. In a school where all the other girls wore their hair uncovered, I was somewhat uncomfortable. My headscarf made me stick out as though someone had written a big red X on my forehead. Everyone would snicker and stare; even the teachers treated me differently. In my opinion, people like that shouldn’t be allowed to work with children.

      Almost every day I faced verbal abuse from peers. Some would say “You’re ugly” or “You smell” or “Boys will never like you.” The list of insults went on and on.

      It was very degrading to my self-esteem, which reminds me of what Stargirl had to deal with. Nevertheless, she rebelled against the negativity of others by remaining herself, ­serenading her peers on their ­birthdays, and giving out candy and notes on special occasions. That is something I would have liked to do, but I wasn’t bold enough at the time.

      Stargirl and I are alike in other ways too. We both have beautiful spirits, we’re creative, smart, and have the same perspective on the world. Cool, huh? Sometimes I imagine if Stargirl were to pop out of your book, I’m sure we would be great friends. But thinking about it now, there probably is a girl somewhere out there just like me, looking for a friend like me. And one day I hope we will meet.

      In conclusion, before I read your book, Mr. Spinelli, I hadn’t found my path in the world. But reading it helped me understand that every girl, including me, no matter what race or religion, is a Stargirl at heart.

      Thank you for writing this inspirational book.

      Your biggest fan, R.M.S.
      Diamonds are forever but love is for infinity and beyond- R.M.S