Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 29, 2012
By , Sioux Falls, SD
Dear Jerry Spinelli,

Being a middle schooler, I can see the desire to fit in. I see it in the people who dress the same as everyone else, the people who get the same lunch as their friends and the people who act the same way as all of their friends. As much as I hate to say it, I am kind of like that. Friends and peers control a lot of my decisions. Stargirl changed some of this.

Stargirl is like a butterfly, bright, colorful and free, caught in a cloud of moths, dull, boring and beige. I think the reason she stands out so much is because no one knows what to think of her. Like the people of Mica High, I have seen the “weird” person and have been confused on what to do about them. The angel on my shoulder says to care for them and to “take them in.” The devil on my shoulder says to ignore them and hope they find someone to hang around. Sometimes the devil wins out over the angel. I saw this internal fight in the characters of Stargirl and it was like reading part of me. When Leo kind of ignores Stargirl at first because that is what his friends are doing, I knew that I would have done the same thing. When Hillary mocked Stargirl, I asked myself. “Would I have joined her?” When Dory Dilson stuck with Stargirl and loved her, I wanted to throw my arms around Dory, because I know that I have friends that would do that for me and I for them. Everything in the book made me wonder about myself and my lifestyle.

You wouldn’t believe how many schools are like Mica High. My school is no different. We are a cloud of moths with a few bright, beautiful butterflies spread out among us. The people who stand out in a positive way and are “Stargirls” are the butterflies. The rest of us, we are blank, drab and are terrified to stand out. After I finished Stargirl, I truly realized how boring and normal life is on the “moth side.” Many of my friends are butterflies and with their help, I found more of my true colors. Once you find your true colors, you can really take flight in being your version of normal and standing out at the same time. This book also showed me to surround myself with butterflies who lift you up, not moths who tell you to hide in a wall of beige and “normal.”

Stargirl has taught me many things. Of all of things I learned, I learned not to let the butterfly traits of Stargirl, flutter by. Thank you.

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