Thursday, November 6, 2014

November: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


It's November! Can you believe it? Next month it will be December and we will all have Christmas-Brain and will be wandering around singing carols. Or maybe you already have Christmas-Brain. I have seen several stores with decorations out already and I even saw a lit up tree in someone's window! On November 1st! Clearly, crazy people live there. 

Speaking of crazy people, let's talk about Stargirl. Just kidding! Although parts of her do seem a little bit out there. For example, the part where she just attends random people's funerals. I'm pretty sure that is a huge no-no. Please don't just walk into random funerals and start crying, my friends. That's extremely disrespectful.

Anyway, there are loads of great things about Stargirl though. Most importantly, she doesn't care what people think about her. So let's talk about that. 

Society in general is pretty crap sometimes, and there is a lot of pressure to be *normal* and fit in with everyone and do and say and wear the same stuff as everyone else. Especially when you're younger. But deep down most of us would rather be doing and saying and wearing something different. But sometimes we don't, because we're scared of what people will think. Because we'd be *different*. And that's a terrifying concept sometimes. If you stand out, you will be noticed. And sometimes when you get noticed, you get criticized and ridiculed. And that is not fun. Sometimes it's just easier to pretend you like the same things as everyone else. 

But that can also make you miserable, because you are participating in something you don't like. So it's tough! Sometimes being yourself is super hard! Honestly, I have found that as you get older, you start to just not care anymore. Sometimes I still get self-conscious, but I definitely feel more secure in myself than I did when I was in middle school. Or even high school! Although I got a little more rebellious and outgoing in high school. 

So, Stargirl is a little nutty but she is also very endearing and heartfelt. All she wants is for other people to be happy. And when they are happy, she is happy. I think one of the most important parts of the book was when Leo notices the small wagon she has that is filled with stones, with a few scattered around the outside. He asks what it is, and Stargirl explains that when she is happy, she puts a stone in the wagon. But when she is unhappy because of something, she takes one out. Leo remarks that there aren't many stones outside the wagon and Stargirl says it's the happiest she's ever been. 
HOWEVER, not too much later, when Leo is trying to get her to be "normal," he notices that her wagon is almost entirely empty. So she may not show it, but she is pretty unhappy with how things are going. 

Anyway, I have lectured enough about happiness and being true to yourself and etc. I think you have all probably heard it before anyway. But it never hurts to repeat it. Be yourself, and try not to worry about what others think. 

I also wanted to add this awesome video from Scholastic's "Reading Opens a World of Possible" campaign, in which Taylor Swift sits down and chats about some of her favorite books. And Stargirl is one of them! I'm also including Swift's music video for Mean, just because it's fun and totally fits our theme. 

Scholastic video HERE! And I will see you all tonight at Teen Book Club at 6pm! 

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