Perhaps unconventionally, I'm starting this literary venture with a novel for teenagers. I first read this as a young teenager, lured by its florescent pink cover, but rediscovered it recently and devoured it in an afternoon. This is a shining jewel among books. Reading it is like basking in the sunshine after a particularly cold winter.
The first-person narrative of a teenage boy bounces along with optimism and poise, although at times it does seem as though this voice more suits a female narrator. Leo’s high school is shaken one day with the appearance of a quirky new student, Stargirl Carraway. What makes her stick out is primarily her longing to bring joy to others.
On the surface this is a very simple novel, giving hope to those stuck in the mundane. It explores group mentality and the consequences of being different. But Spinelli also delves into what it means to truly be yourself and where happiness comes from. I think this book can’t fail to change its reader, and it promises to make our communities brighter places.