Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
There’s a new girl at school in Mica, Arizona, and she’s making her presence known. Rumor has it she had been homeschooled and named herself Stargirl. Her parents are huge hippies and let her do whatever she wants, which is usually fine because she has a heart of gold, sending anonymous cards to people and singing happy birthday to them on her ukulele in the cafeteria. She becomes incredibly popular until she joins the cheerleading squad and cheers for the other team, and then she’s ostracized. The only person who will talk to her is our fearless hero, fellow tenth-grader Leo, who has gone and fallen in love with her. (But it’s a very chaste love, not all hormone-y, so this story is still appropriate for middle schoolers.) Mostly the story is about the social whims of the high school jungle. Stargirl, having been homeschooled, is oblivious to what people think of her, and needs Leo to tell her. His own reaction to her trying to become mainstream is a bit sad to someone who wishes more kids would learn to love themselves as they are, idiosyncrasies and all. One day she just up and disappears, and that’s where the story ends.
The only annoying thing about this book on CD this was that the narrator (who turned out to be John Ritter, who frankly should have known better, may he rest in peace) could not pronounce saguaro. Instead of “swarro” (as I’ve been told by people who live in Arizona), he says “cigar-o” and it irked me. Another thing that stuck out to me is that the story starts off told in the first person plural, which I’ve only ever seen in The Virgin Suicides. However, in Stargirl, Leo quickly emerges from the masses as an individual – notably, the only one who still talks to Stargirl after the ostracizing.