| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.

View
 

Stargirl

Page history last edited by Wendy Rooney 10 years, 3 months ago

FrontPage  

 

 

STARGIRL
by Jerry Spinelli

Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0440416779
Publisher: Laurel Leaf


 

About This Book
When I was little, my Uncle Pete had a necktie with a porcupine painted on it. I though that necktie was just about the neatest thing in the world. Uncle Pete would stand patiently before me while I ran my fingers over the silky surface, half expecting to be stuck by one of the quills. Once, he let me wear it. I kept looking for one of my own, but I could never find one.

I was twelve when we moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona. When Uncle Pete came to say goodbye, he was wearing the tie. I though he did so to give me one last look at it, and I was grateful. But then, with a dramatic flourish, he whipped off the tie and draped it around my neck. "It's yours," he said. "Going-away present."

I loved that porcupine tie so much that I decided to start a collection. Two years after we settled in Arizona, the number of ties in my collection was still one. Where do you find a porcupine necktie in Mica, Arizona - or anywhere else, for that matter?

On my fourteenth birthday, I read about myself in the local newspaper. The family section ran a regular feature about kids on their birthdays, and my mother had called in some info. The last sentence read: "As a hobby, Leo Borlock collects porcupine neckties."

Several days later, coming home from school, I found a plastic bag on our front step. Inside was a gift-wrapped package tied with yellow ribbon. The tag said, "Happy Birthday!" I opened the package. It was a porcupine necktie. Two porcupines were tossing darts with their quills, while a third was picking its teeth.

I inspected the box, the tag, the paper. Nowhere could I find the giver's name. I asked my parents. I asked my friends. I called my Uncle Pete. Everyone denied knowing anything about it.

 

 

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Summary

When Stargirl enrolls at Mica High, all of the students are in awe, but she especially captures the attention of Leo Borlock, a junior at Mica. With her long flowing brown hair, plain face, and rather eccentric outfits, her classmates don't know whether to love her for having the guts to be different, or hate her for breaking the rules of high school. In fact they react by doing a little bit of both. First they embrace her uniqueness by imitating her, and then, just as quickly, they turn on her for being unusual. Despite her status as outcast, Leo and Stargirl become a couple, and he experiences what it's like to be shunned. In hopes of gaining acceptance Leo encourages her to become normal. Together both Leo and Stargirl learn a lesson about conforming to the will of the group versus being yourself.

Discussion questions

  1. Do you think it is important to Stargirl to be liked? To Leo? How important is it for you to fit in?
  2. Though Stargirl seems to ignore the shunning, how do you think she really feels? Do you think it hurts her? How would you feel if you were in her place?
  3. Do you think it was a selfish act for Leo to ask Stargirl to try to become normal? If you were in his place would you do the same thing?
  4. Do you know anyone whose persona resembles that of Stargirl? How are they treated? Are they welcomed? Avoided?
  5. Do you think it was a smart idea to put Stargirl in the "Hot Seat", do you think it further increased the dislike the students at Mica High felt towards her?
  6. What does Leo learn from Archi?
  7. Describe Kevin. Do you think he is a supportive friend?
  8. Stargirl's attempt at normalcy doesn't work very well. Do you think it is easy to reinvent yourself?
  9. What do you think of Leo and Stargirl's relationship? Do you think he is a good boyfriend?
  10. What do you think of Hillari Kimble? Why do you think she disliked Stargirl more than anyone else?

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library. Send feedback to Katie O'Dell, Reading Promotions Coordinator

 

 

 

STARGIRL WRITING MENU

STARGIRL WRITING MENU.pdf

 
Stargirl
 
Written by Jerry SpinelliAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jerry Spinelli

Fiction - Social Situations - Adolescence
· Knopf Books for Young Readers
· Hardcover · Ages 12 UP
· August 8, 2000 · $16.99 · 978-0-679-88637-2 (0-679-88637-0)

 

.
Stargirl
Enlarge View
Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse and search through your favorite titles
ABOUT THIS GUIDE

Stargirl is a true celebration of nonconformity.

This oftentimes tense and emotional story explores the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity-and the thrill and inspiration of first love. The questions, discussion topics, and author information that follow are intended to guide readers and spark discussion as they begin to analyze the larger emotional, sociological, and literary elements of this exceptional and thought-provoking novel.

 

ABOUT THIS BOOK

She's as magical as the desert sky. As strange as her pet rat. As mysterious as her own name. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High School 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. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned. And Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

 

FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. As the saying goes, "love is blind." How is this truly the case with Leo and Stargirl? Looking back, how can you tell that Leo was falling for her? And does he stay in love with her, even after she moves away?

 

2. Professor Archie Brubaker is the voice of reason throughout the novel. Archie has many thoughtful insights into the personality of Stargirl, and at one point says about her: "You'll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know." Now that you've finished the novel, what do you think Archie means by this statement?

 

3. While Stargirl is a guest on "Hot Seat," Kevin asks her why she changed her name. Do you accept her reason why she did this? How is "Stargirl" an ideal name for her? Think about the possibility of changing your name several times. Do you think your name is an integral part of who you are, or can you imagine yourself with another one?

 

4. In the beginning, Hillari Kimble seems to be the only person who openly dislikes Stargirl. But then others begin to feel the same way as Hillari. Do you think that groups of people need a leader, like Hillari Kimble, to turn opinions against another person?

 

5. Do you, as a reader, like Stargirl? If you were a student at Mica High, would you reach out to her like Dori Dilson, or reject her like Hillari Kimble? Do you think the students of Mica High are ultimately too harsh on Stargirl?

 

6. Popularity, fitting in, and "sameness" are all key themes in Stargirl. Find places in the novel that reinforce these themes and discuss. Do you think Stargirl ever wanted to be popular? How might she define popularity?

 

7. After Stargirl changes back to "Susan," Leo says "she looked magnificently, wonderfully, gloriously ordinary. She looked just like a hundred other girls at Mica High--I had never been so happy and proud in my whole life." How did you feel when you read this part of the novel?

 

8. Author Jerry Spinelli plays two major events in the novel off of each other: the basketball championships and the oratorical contest. After Stargirl wins the oratorical contest, Leo says that "the cheering is as wild as that of the crowd at a championship basketball game." Stargirl is the focus at both events but in very different ways. How is she rejected at one and accepted at the other? And how does this acceptance ultimately lead to rejection?

 

9. The Ocotillo Ball at the end of the novel represents a turning point. Do you think Stargirl made a deliberate attempt to say good-bye at the ball? What do you make of the students' behavior at the ball, and what does this tell you about the student body of Mica High as a whole?

 

10. Archie says about Stargirl, "Star people are rare. You'll be lucky to meet another." Do you think Leo was grown-up enough for his relationship with Stargirl? How about the students of Mica High? Will Leo ever figure Stargirl out?

 

11. What is the irony at the end of Stargirl? Is Stargirl popular after all? What happens to the "popular" kids in the story-do they stay popular?

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerry Spinelli is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; Wringer, a Newbery Honor Book; Crash; and Knots in My Yo-Yo String, his autobiography. He grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he once dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player. All of this changed at age 16, when his poem about a football game was published in the local newspaper. From then on, he wanted to become a writer. Jerry's first book for children was published when he was 41 years old. He still lives in Pennsylvania with his "Stargirl," his wife, Eileen Spinelli, who is also an author of children's books.

 

.


 

 
Stargirl
 
Written by Jerry SpinelliAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jerry Spinelli

Fiction - Social Situations - Adolescence
· Knopf Books for Young Readers
· Hardcover · Ages 12 UP
· August 8, 2000 · $16.99 · 978-0-679-88637-2 (0-679-88637-0)

.
Stargirl
Enlarge View
Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse and search through your favorite titles
  •  
  • Add to Barnes and Noble Wish List
  • Add to Good Reads
  • Add to Librarything
  • Add to Shelfari

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

Stargirl is a true celebration of nonconformity.

This oftentimes tense and emotional story explores the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity-and the thrill and inspiration of first love. The questions, discussion topics, and author information that follow are intended to guide readers and spark discussion as they begin to analyze the larger emotional, sociological, and literary elements of this exceptional and thought-provoking novel.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

She's as magical as the desert sky. As strange as her pet rat. As mysterious as her own name. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High School 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. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned. And Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. As the saying goes, "love is blind." How is this truly the case with Leo and Stargirl? Looking back, how can you tell that Leo was falling for her? And does he stay in love with her, even after she moves away?

2. Professor Archie Brubaker is the voice of reason throughout the novel. Archie has many thoughtful insights into the personality of Stargirl, and at one point says about her: "You'll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know." Now that you've finished the novel, what do you think Archie means by this statement?

3. While Stargirl is a guest on "Hot Seat," Kevin asks her why she changed her name. Do you accept her reason why she did this? How is "Stargirl" an ideal name for her? Think about the possibility of changing your name several times. Do you think your name is an integral part of who you are, or can you imagine yourself with another one?

4. In the beginning, Hillari Kimble seems to be the only person who openly dislikes Stargirl. But then others begin to feel the same way as Hillari. Do you think that groups of people need a leader, like Hillari Kimble, to turn opinions against another person?

5. Do you, as a reader, like Stargirl? If you were a student at Mica High, would you reach out to her like Dori Dilson, or reject her like Hillari Kimble? Do you think the students of Mica High are ultimately too harsh on Stargirl?

6. Popularity, fitting in, and "sameness" are all key themes in Stargirl. Find places in the novel that reinforce these themes and discuss. Do you think Stargirl ever wanted to be popular? How might she define popularity?

7. After Stargirl changes back to "Susan," Leo says "she looked magnificently, wonderfully, gloriously ordinary. She looked just like a hundred other girls at Mica High--I had never been so happy and proud in my whole life." How did you feel when you read this part of the novel?

8. Author Jerry Spinelli plays two major events in the novel off of each other: the basketball championships and the oratorical contest. After Stargirl wins the oratorical contest, Leo says that "the cheering is as wild as that of the crowd at a championship basketball game." Stargirl is the focus at both events but in very different ways. How is she rejected at one and accepted at the other? And how does this acceptance ultimately lead to rejection?

9. The Ocotillo Ball at the end of the novel represents a turning point. Do you think Stargirl made a deliberate attempt to say good-bye at the ball? What do you make of the students' behavior at the ball, and what does this tell you about the student body of Mica High as a whole?

10. Archie says about Stargirl, "Star people are rare. You'll be lucky to meet another." Do you think Leo was grown-up enough for his relationship with Stargirl? How about the students of Mica High? Will Leo ever figure Stargirl out?

11. What is the irony at the end of Stargirl? Is Stargirl popular after all? What happens to the "popular" kids in the story-do they stay popular?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerry Spinelli is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; Wringer, a Newbery Honor Book; Crash; and Knots in My Yo-Yo String, his autobiography. He grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he once dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player. All of this changed at age 16, when his poem about a football game was published in the local newspaper. From then on, he wanted to become a writer. Jerry's first book for children was published when he was 41 years old. He still lives in Pennsylvania with his "Stargirl," his wife, Eileen Spinelli, who is also an author of children's books.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stargirl


Respond to three (3) of the following prompts with well-developed, fully supported, detail-laden essays. (No, your essays do not have to be standard, five-paragraph academic essays, but you must have a clearly stated thesis, tons of explanatory details, and a conclusion, so that five-paragraph format might be the way to go after all.)
If Leo had known then what he knows now (15 years after his experience with Stargirl), what, if anything, would he do differently? Explain what he has learned and how he has changed. What lessons would age teach him? Can such lessons be taught to teenagers? Why or why not?
Point of view plays an important role in this novel. We never actually see inside Stargirl’s thoughts. Everything we know about her is filtered through Leo, the narrator. Why would the author (Jerry Spinelli) do this? What point is he making by allowing us to see Stargirl only as others see her?
Activities
1. Find someone at school you've never spoken to and try to get to know that person. You can talk to them about what they like to read, eat, or watch on television.
2. Walk down the halls at your school and just smile at everybody. Say "hello." See what happens.
3. Stand and look up at the sky or ceiling as if there were something very interesting there. Have one or two of your friends join you. Count how many people stop to look up and see what you're staring at.
To Think About
1. Stargirl gave secret gifts, attended funerals of people she didn't know, rooted for the opposing team at basketball games and did many other things the kids in her high school considered "strange." They were first enchanted by her and then frightened of her. Do you know anyone who is considered "strange" by most other people? Why is that person thought to be strange? How do people treat that person? How do you think they should treat that person?
2. Stargirl changed her name because she felt her name didn't fit her anymore. First she was Pocket Mouse, then Mudpie, then Hullygully. What would you change your name to, if you chose a name that described how you feel about yourself?

 

http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/friends/bullies/ - PBS KIDS - Bullying 

 

 

 

 

 

Menu

 

 

 

Write a letter to Stargirl from Hillary explaining your issues.  Be sure to use your voice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the recipe for getting someone to like you?

 

Find a poem about being different.  Analyze it and compare it to Stargirl.

 

Write a song about a different shape.  Stargirl wrote about isosceles triangles. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write about a time when you saw someone being ostracized.  What did you do?  What could you have done? How did you feel about it?

 

Write a mystery about Stargirl’s names and their origins.  How did she go from Susan to Pocket Mouse to Mud Pie to Hully-Gully to Stargirl?

 

Research a legend from the Southwestern United States.  Retell it in your own words or illustrate it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and write about the Amish practice of shunning.

 

Create a weekly menu for a vegetarian using the new food pyramid.

 

What's in a name? Activity 

 

 http://writingfix.com/Chapter_Book_Prompts/Stargirl3.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.