Love, Stargirl

Common Sense Media says

Peek into Stargirl's diary in this moody sequel.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

A lovely, thoughtful message about staying true to yourself.

Positive role models

Stargirl is thoughtful towards others, and is always herself.


A fistfight.


A kiss, and a little boy moons his sister.

Not applicable

Some candy products mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Pipe smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that for a young adult novel there is little of concern here -- a kiss, a brief kid fight, some candy, and pipe smoking by an adult.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Stargirl, living now in Pennsylvania, tells her own story this time, in "the world's longest letter," which is actually a series of journal entries. New in town, homeschooled, and feeling rejected by Leo, the 16-year-old narrator of the first book who had fallen under her spell, she is lonely and sad -- her "happy wagon," where she keeps stones representing her level of happiness, is almost empty.

But this eccentric extrovert begins to meet new people, and Stargirl's life soon includes a little girl, a middle-aged agoraphobic, the donut lady, a crabby tween, an elderly man who spends all his time at his wife's grave, and a possible delinquent. But she's still pining for Leo.

Is it any good?


In LOVE, STARGIRL, Stargirl is a lot less confident than she seemed in the first book. She spends a good portion of the book pining for Leo, and feeling depressed and sad. Gone, for the most part, is that magically effervescent spirit that made her such an intriguing mystery. In its place is a more realistic girl with whom the reader can identify.

It's unusual for a sequel to be so unlike its predecessor -- the characters (except for Stargirl herself), mood, tone, setting, point of view, and writing style are all different. But Spinelli has never been one to follow the beaten path. Readers who were hoping for something similar in tone and feeling to the first book may be disappointed, but those who wanted to bring Stargirl down to Earth and get to know her a bit will be thrilled.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Stargirl's eccentric education.

  • What is she learning?

  • Is she missing out on anything by not going to

  • school and not having classes at home?

  • What does she gain by not going

  • to a regular school?

  • Why is she so lonely, even surrounded by people

  • who care about her?

Book details

Author:Jerry Spinelli
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date:August 14, 2007
Number of pages:288
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of Love, Stargirl was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

Great handpicked alternatives

For kids who love off-beat characters

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old Written byMintbubblr April 6, 2011

Touching tale

Not much bad stuff in here, but I do agree with others. Stargirl is much more depressed in this story. There is a theif (sorry for my spelling) in the book. He steals Stargirl's heart, and of course items. But it's touching. I loved Dootise. Dootsie is a 5 year old. It's mostly about Stargirl getting over Leo. (Her ex Boyfriend) Yes, there is one violent girl in there. But overall, I loved the book.

What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byAthena Keene May 6, 2011

MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


it had me smiling through mny tears. Stargirl is a teenage gilr with love compasion and insight beyond her years! This really touched me. By far Sinelli's best work.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bynorachic March 15, 2011

really fun and easy to keep up with

i loved this book as a person who does not like to read this book is a must read if u like a little romance but it is really child appropreat.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families