I have a confession to make: I didn't read any of the books my students were assigned for summer reading last year. I'm sure I probably could've been more effective if I had a clue what they'd read, but knowing half of them didn't read it anyway and trying to prepare for the year as a new teacher, it just didn't happen. Recently I read one of the books my 8th graders had to pick from last year, Stargirl.
Stargirl Caraway unabashedly marches to the tune of a different drummer, so much so that the character is somewhat unbelievable. It seems Spenelli goes above and beyond with Stargirl to get his point across. (Which although frustrates me, the adult reader, can be effective with pubescent teens.)
There were several instances that brought me back to my days of watching Full House or Boy Meets world, where I had to turn my head to keep from living the embarrassment with the characters. (Cory and Sean could get themselves into some serious shenanigans.)
Unlike most YA literature, there is no pink boy at the end to wrap things up nicely, which was a refreshing change. Stargirl left me with a sad resonance in my soul and makes the reader think twice about inclusion and individuality. Although not perfect, Stargirl is a must read for any pre-adolescent and probably their parents too.