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Publishers Weekly Review
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6-10--In Jerry Spinelli's sequel (Knopf, 2007) to Stargirl (Knopf, 2000), Stargirl and her family have moved from Arizona and are living in Pennsylvania. Listeners join Stargirl a year after she was dumped by her boyfriend, Leo. Stargirl shares her life through her self-proclaimed "world's longest letter" to Leo, introducing several eccentric people: Dootsie, a precocious six-year-old girl; Betty Lou, an agoraphobic divorcee; Alvina, a lively 11-year-old girl with an occasional temper; and the mysterious Perry, a boy who often evokes unsettling emotions in Stargirl. With experiences that bring alternating happiness and sadness, Stargirl begins to find acceptance. On occasion, parts of the letter drag a bit. Mandy Siegfried gives each character a unique voice, and her perfectly pitched and well-timed narration brings listeners into Stargirl's world. While a familiarity with the first novel would be helpful, this sequel does stand on its own.--Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
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 Copyright 2007 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Intermediate, Middle School) Stargirl -- the very personification of unconventionality and outsiderhood, the eccentric homeschooled teenager who temporarily reconfigured the entire social structure of staid Mica High in Stargirl (rev. 7/00) -- is back. In this sequel, she has just moved from Arizona to Pennsylvania, and is writing an extended letter to her one-time boyfriend (and Stargirl narrator) Leo detailing her year of adjustment. Spinelli originally presented Stargirl as a symbol of nonconformity, an extraordinary force demanding a reaction from her more-ordinary fellow students; making her into a wholly flesh-and-blood character is a tricky proposition, and Spinelli doesn't quite pull it off. He surrounds the lovesick Stargirl, still an over-the-top personality in her own right, with a host of offbeat characters: a precocious five-year-old named Dootsie with an overly cute vocabulary; an agoraphobic donut-loving divorcee; an angry, insult-hurling tomboy; a widower who sits daily by his wife's grave. The preciousness combines with a relentlessly uplifting plot -- in which Stargirl, having found her place in her new community, decides to turn her face to the sun and the future -- and makes the reader long for the bracing counterweight of those ultra-conventional Mica High cheerleaders. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
Fifteen-year-old Susan "Stargirl" Caraway has moved to Pennsylvania, but as independent and free-spirited as she is, she can't seem to let go of Arizona and her old boyfriend Leo Borlock. She's lonely, even in the midst of a loving family and a colorful cast of characters in her new town. There's five-year-old spitfire Dootsie, agoraphobic Betty Lou, angry Alvina, Margie the donut queen and mysterious Perry, a potential new boy in Stargirl's life. As much as readers will relish this community and wish Stargirl would get on with her life there and forget mooning over Leo, she can't seem to, and the whole leisurely paced novel is "the world's longest letter" to him. Humor, graceful writing, lively characters and important lessons about life will make this a hit with fans of Stargirl (2000) and anyone who likes a quiet, reflective novel. Those meeting Stargirl here for the first time will want to read the previous work to see if Leo is worthy of her devotion. (Fiction. 11-14) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.