Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


Book Summary

What if you broke all social rules and did whatever made you feel happy . . . even at school? 

What if you didn't focus on winning or being the best, but on making other people feel good? 

How many people have the courage to be different?

Stargirl book cover

Book Review

An incredibly powerful illustration of a character who refuses to conform, seen through the eyes of a different character who is a prisoner to societal expectations. This book addresses the fascination with and magnetic pull of people who create their own paths, and also the ready criticism and social punishment large groups wield against those who are different.
The vocabulary in this book is challenging, and that, combined with its secondary setting, make it a natural fit for middle school readers.

Class Structure Recommendation: Read-Aloud, Small Group Book Club, or Independent Reading

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • School Relationships
  • Conformity vs. Individualism
  • Inspirational People
  • Bullying; Peer Pressure
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Southwest U.S.

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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