Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Love, Stargirl

Love, Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli

A heartwarming older children’s book in Jerry Spinelli’s Love, Stargirl, the sequel to the original.  A year after leaving Arizona, Stargirl, a.k.a. Susan, is now a 16 year-old living in Pennsylvania (parts unknown).  Stargirl spends her year planning the next winter solstice by writing daily entries (January 1st through end of December) in the form of a letter to Leo sharing her “love” for him.  In her new town, she meets a six-year old, an older woman who is an agoraphobe, her pet rat Cinnamon, the ‘harem girls,’ Alvina (the grumpy eleven-year-old), the old gentleman who visits his wife’s grave every day, and Perry (the mystery boy who may take Leo’s place).  Stargirl is unique and different from most girls her age – she is creative and lives to see the best in others while she is being homeschooled by her mom. The year of the LONG letter to Leo is reflective, speculating whether or not he still has feelings for her, and asking if they will ever meet again.  Her weekly preparation for the winter solstice brings her to a place of contemplation and speaking to Leo as if he were there.  The book ends with her big event – bringing all of the people she has met over the year to the early morning sunrise where lots of questions are answered: who is Perry really and will he replace Leo? Will Alvina stop being an angry youth? Who is Neva? And will Betty Lou finally leave her home?  With a surprise visit from the old sage Archie from Arizona, answers are found in a secret letter from Leo.  Asking questions and a willingness to listen to them can bring surprising answers.  Kids’ books carry such good lessons.  We need to listen to them more.

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