Sunday, April 6, 2008

Meme: High School Daze to Praise

Cover Art "Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli

I've been tagged by Cathy Nelson with a literature-themed meme begun by Paul C. at quoteflections. The rules are:

- Select and briefly review one teen novel, classic or modern, which is a sure antidote to the daze of high school.

-Title your post Meme: High School Daze to Praise

-Include an image with your post.

-Tag four blogger colleagues.

A middle school teacher with whom I collaborated last year used Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli, to inspire classroom conversations about peer pressure and individuality.

Narrator Leo Borlock describes Stargirl Caraway, a new 10th grader in his Arizona high school: "She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl."

Stargirl moves from being an outsider to becoming wildly popular, but in the process, she must sacrifice personal integrity for conformity. By the end of the story, both Leo and Stargirl have learned painful lessons about the nature of growth and change.

I tag:


Paul C said...

Hi Diane,
I am so happy you have taken up the meme challenge: high school daze to praise. Great choice! I hope to do a wrap up in several weeks and include links of all who respond. I have bookmarked your site.

If any of your readers would also like to post a favourite at Quoteflections or on their own site, please do. Global educational blogs can be enriching for all! Maybe just leave me a tag so that I don't forget anyone. Have a great week.

diane said...

My pleasure. We need to have more literary discussions online.

Excellent idea for a meme!

LJK said...

That's one of my favorite books! My mom and I read it on the beach one day when I was in fourth grade. She read it out loud to me as I built a sand castle.

I've read it many times since then.

diane said...


Stargirl only has problems when she's not true to herself.

Spinelli has written a sequel, but I feel that trivializes his protagonist's strength. Stargirl has to leave because she cannot grow in Leo's environment. He remembers her wistfully, but never tries to move beyond his safety zone to reestablish contact with her.

I can see why Stargirl's character appeals to you: you have a strong sense of self and a unique perspective on life.

Leo was a "nice" boy, but he wasn't confident enough to nurture the relationship.

You deserve more than a Leo in your life!


LJK said...

I don't like the sequel, either. He should have left Stargirl to be in her own world, let her be mysterious.

I love Stargirl's spirit, and her lack of fear to be herself. Leo is so afraid.

Thanks Tutu :)


diane said...


When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be Jo, in Little Women.

Now my heroine is Lyra, in His Dark Materials trilogy, by Pullman.

Who are your literary heroines?