cover image Love, Stargirl

Love, Stargirl

Jerry Spinelli, . . Knopf, $16.99 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-375-81375-7

In Newbery Medalist Spinelli’s sequel to his 2000 novel Stargirl , readers join the eponymous heroine and find out how she is coping after being dumped by Leo Borlock. Having moved from Arizona to Pennsylvania, Stargirl records her thoughts, observations and emotions in near daily (unsent) missives to Leo, as she works to move beyond her sadness. Her entries are peppered with poetry as well as little pep talks she writes to herself whenever her spirits are low. (“You have your whole life ahead of you, and all you’re doing is looking back. Grow up, girl. There are some things they don’t teach you in homeschool.”) Stargirl spends most of her time with a talkative six-year-old, Dootsie, a grumpy girl named Alvina, and a handful of older locals with their own quirks and problems. She also meets a boy with a mysterious past; their brief romance and other events combine to lift Stargirl out of her doldrums, as she reconciles her feelings about Leo (“You be you and I’ll be me, today and today and today, and let’s trust the future to tomorrow”). Readers should embrace Stargirl’s originality and bigheartedness, and may be inspired to document their own emotional ups and downs in the Stargirl Journal , available the same month, which consists of blank lined pages with quotations from both novels. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)