Love, StargirlTitle: Love, Stargirl
Author: Jerry Spinelli
ISBN: 9780375813757
Pages: 274 pages
Publisher/Date: Alfred A. Knopf, c2007.

January 1
Dear Leo,
I love beginnings. If I were in charge of calendars, every day would be January 1.
And what better way to celebrate this New Year’s Day than to begin writing a letter to my once (and future?) boyfriend. (1)

So starts what Stargirl dubs the world’s longest letter to her boyfriend from Arizona, Leo. Although she’s not sure she is going to send it to him, Stargirl begins to detail her new life in Pennsylvania. Her dad has started his dream job of becoming a milkman, and Stargirl has resumed being homeschooled by her mom, the costume designer. But Stargirl’s life is more complicated than she realized, and she explains to Leo the trials of Dootsy, a preschooler who doesn’t know when to stop talking, an agorophobic neighbor name Betty Lou, and a girl name Alvina who is suffering growing pains. What’s most confusing however is Perry Delloplane, the silent high schooler with a murky past and a habit of littering and skipping school.

You would expect fans of the first book starring Stargirl will want to return to Jerry Spinelli’s Love, Stargirl. The book is a much slower beginning then the first, and it’s difficult to wrap your brain around the change that has happened to our spunky, perky, independent Stargirl. Upon reflection however, the tone fits with Stargirl’s mood. She is so engrossed in what happened between her and Leo, that she exhibits what could be seen as depression. Her little bucket of happy pebbles keeps empting, from five, to three, to one. But she perks back up, and the ecentricities resume. From passing out coins for April Fools Day, to throwing out all the clocks in her house and finally planning a Winter Solstice celebration and inviting the whole town, Stargirl encourages us to find the joy in the simple things in life. She doesn’t question anyone else, and excepts people for who they are.

And I love Betty Lou, the agorophobic. She is a great mentor for Stargirl and for all readers.

“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out with Perry?”
“What am I doing?”
“You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today that you wated is gone forever. It’s now yesterday. Some of those moments may have had wonderful things in store for you, but now you’ll never know.” (195-196)

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