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Love, Stargirl Paperback – April 28, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Stargirl Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–10—This brilliant sequel to Stargirl (Knopf, 2000) takes place a year later. Now living in Pennsylvania, Stargirl, 15, continues to pine for Leo, who dumped her, and struggles to make a place for herself in her new community. Fortunately, her eclectic neighbors, who include Dootsie, a five-year-old "human bean"; Betty Lou, an agoraphobic divorcée; and Perry Delloplane, an amiable thief, draw her back into life and happiness. Written in diary format-the "world's longest letter," as Stargirl calls it-this novel is as charming and unique as its sensitive, nonconformist heroine. Addressing loss, growing pains, and staying true to oneself, this stellar follow-up is both profound and funny.—Terri Clark, Smokey Hill Library, Centennial, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Stargirl (Stargirl, 2000) is disappearing. She and her family (including pet rat Cinnamon) have moved to Pennsylvania, leaving her boyfriend, Leo, behind in Arizona. "Can you lose your favorite person without losing yourself?" she writes in one of the many letters to him that comprise an epistolary companion to Spinelli's first story of the eccentric, large-hearted, happy-to-a-fault teenager. The questions abound: Will she be reunited with her Starboy, or will he be replaced by Perry, the petty-thieving, dangerously attractive new boy in her life? How will she help her new friends (five-year-old motormouth Dootsie, angry Alvina, agoraphobic Betty Lou, grieving widower Charlie, developmentally disabled Arnold)? And are the many genuinely nice moments in this novel buried under too much sentimentality, whimsicality, and self-conscious cuteness? The answer lies with individual readers. The many teens who loved the first book will embrace this sequel. Those who didn't, won't. It's as simple as that. Cart, Michael --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375856447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375856440
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.

Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."

On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
how i've missed stargirl! i loved that she's not the typical girl. i loved that she doesn't care what others think of her. i envy that her mother homeschools her and sends her on interesting field trips. none of that changes in this book but we do get to know her better. the mystery falls away and reveals a girl who is just as vulnerable and confused about growing up as other girls her age. she wants what every girl wants: for the boy she loves to see her, really SEE her and love her entirely.

in a series of letters to leo, stargirl tells her own story. she befriends the people others would overlook or ignore. while some might think of her as a busybody, to the misunderstood, she is an angel. her best friend is a 6-year old, her favorite neighbor is an agoraphobic, and the boy she might be interested in is a thief. but in the center of it all, is her heartache for the boy in arizona. somehow, jerry spinelli makes all of this believable and creates characters you can't help but fall in love with. told simply, sometimes poetically, he brings us to calendar hill at the solstice, to the moment when she truly shines. if i wasn't reading in a public place, i may have let a few tears fall.

and the ending was perfect. a true stargirl ending.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Stargirl, the first book, because it had a point, it taught us something about the way we treat each other, and the way we should treat each other. It challenged us to look beyond appearances and assumptions, to appreciate differences.

Love, Stargirl, has none of that depth. It is about Stargirl pining for her old boyfriend, a boy who really did not treat her well anyway. Yes, she does crazy things in a very Stargirl fashion, yes, she makes new friends, all of them on the fringe in their own way, but the book simply does not touch the reader in the same way as the first book.

Perhaps if, as one other reviewer seems to be, you are in love with Stargirl the character, not Stargirl the message, you will enjoy this book, because that is all it is, Stargirl the character, and her very typical teenage thoughts. However, if, like me, you appreciated the message that the character brought, then you can skip Love, Stargirl, because it's just not there.
1 Comment 21 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I found Stargirl in a bookstore and, for some reason, was intrigued enough to read a page or two. I had never read any of Jerry Spinelli's books before...but before I knew it, I was completely caught up in the story and read it from cover to cover before leaving the store.

It soon became a favorite of mine and a friend gave me a copy, which I have re-read several times. To me, it's a wonderfully inspiring story of individualism that young girls today need now more than ever, when presented with role models like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

Just recently I discovered there was a sequel to this beloved book, and as several other reviewers have noted, it's quite different from Stargirl.
Not only has the narrator shifted from Leo to Stargirl, Stargirl shifts as well. We see her as less of a charming enigma and more of a vulnerable teenager who can't seem to get over her lost love. So she begins writing him a very long letter in daily journal form, and as she does, we see her find herself again as she develops healing relationships with an interesting cast of characters: an agoraphobe, a six year old girl, a man whose devotion to his late wife is all-consuming, and a potential replacement for Leo who has a harem and, possibly, a criminal record.

However, the original novel shows Stargirl's humanity and vulnerability or it would not have been believable. I disagree with the other reviewers who miss the enigma, because Stargirl's great triumph is that she is who she is in spite of--and because of--her humanity and vulnerability.

But I agree with the other reviews that say the ending is perfect. Indeed it is.

Both books inspire me. Both books made me very happy. I want to buy copies for every young woman I know and even every young woman I don't.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading Stargirl I made my whole family read it. I loved her originality and individuality. She challenged those around her and made them better. The book also had great insight regarding how those who are different are treated. It gave the young reader a lesson on how to think about those who are different and that it is good to be unique. However, right from the start, Love, Stargirl seemed to try too hard to tug at stereotypical girl heartstrings. I didn't feel that this was the same girl. It may have been due to the different perspective--seeing Stargirl Leo's perspective in the first book, and then from a first person perspective in the second. Maybe she never really was the girl in the first book, she was just idealized by Leo... Nevertheless, this book felt patronizing to me. Book one we were shown how great Stargirl was. Book two we were told way too many time and it got old.
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Format: Hardcover
As I read the first 1/3 of the book I was mad at Jerry Spinelli for making Stargirl so pathetic, lovesick, heartbroken and NORMAL? (Never Stargirl!!!) But, as I read I remembered many of my feelings as a teenager and really identified with her. It was fabulous to see her recover and become better. This book is a must-read for any Stargirl fan. The new characters are fabulous and interesting. It will get you thinking about many issues. I loved it almost as much as the first.
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