A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
Talk to your kids 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?