LOVE, STARGIRL picks up a year after Stargirl ends and reveals the new life of the beloved character who moved away so suddenly at the end of Stargirl. The novel takes the form of "the world's longest letter," in diary form, going from date to date through a little more than a year's time. In her writing, Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life. In Love, Stargirl, we hear the voice of Stargirl herself as she reflects on time, life, Leo, and - of course - love.
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The video below includes an interview with the author of this novel, Jerry Spinelli. As you watch, think about what you consider is the most interesting aspect of this author. (This annotation contains a video)
The video below is a book trailer for this novel. As you watch, consider if this book seems like one that you will enjoy reading. (This annotation contains a video)
The video below discusses characterization. As you watch, pay close attention to the ways in which authors indirectly reveal character traits to their readers. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the highlighted text indirectly reveal about Stargirl's character?
Rapps Dam Road and Route 113 are both real roads in Pennsylvania.
Using what you know about Stargirl, along with the description of her from the annotation above, make a judgement about the highlighted text. Do you think that Stargirl truly wishes to be "cool"? Be sure to provide support for your decision.
The quote below comes from Stargirl, the book before this novel. While reading Leo's explanation of Stargirl, consider whether Stargirl would describe herself in the same manner. “She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was... 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. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”
In the first book in this series (Stargirl), Stargirl painted a sign with the words in the image below. After hanging it outside of the school, Stargirl became a bit confused by Leo's reaction. Unfortunately, Leo often cared a bit more about what his classmates thought about him, as opposed to caring about Stargirl's feelings.
According to the text, what is the purpose of Stargirl's happy wagon?
The link below briefly discusses the disorder known as agoraphobia. As you read about it, consider how Stargirl can be of help to Betty Lou. (This annotation contains a link)
Explore the way(s) in which Stargirl could be a perfect companion for Betty Lou. What character traits does Stargirl possess that could help Betty Lou? As a follow-up question, consider if Betty Lou truly needs help.
As you read, you will notice that Stargirl is a very introspective young woman. She is one that constantly considers the reasons for actions, events, feelings, etc. She is also very thoughtful when it comes to people who are having a difficult time in their lives. An example from the previous novel, Stargirl, is when she attended Anna Grisdale's grandfather's funeral, a man she had never met. She simply went to show her classmate that she cared. Her reception was less than pleasant, unfortunately.
How does Stargirl's happiness level compare to what it was a year ago?
The link below includes a video tutorial of the literary device anaphora. While watching, keep in mind that the highlighted text from the novel contains anaphora. Stargirl uses the repetition of the word 'she' in her poem. (This annotation contains a link)
For what reason would an author choose to include anaphora in his/her writing?
The highlighted text contains an idiom. An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not easily understood by defining the individual words. Examples include "it's raining cats and dogs" and "see the light." The example from the text can be defined to mean that boyfriends are everywhere. It does not mean that they are dimes.
The lightning danced across the sky. The previous sentence is an example of personification. Personification is when you give human qualities to an object or animal. It is a literary tool that adds interest or understanding to a piece of text. While reading, keep your eyes open for examples of this literary device.
Explain the personification used in the highlighted text.
The link below briefly chronicles the history of milk delivery people. While reading, consider how this historical description relates to Stargirl's description of milk delivery. (This annotation contains a link)
How does the information presented by the annotation above relate to Stargirl's description of 1940's milk delivery people?
The highlighted text contains hyperbole. Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration for added effect.. Stargirl is exaggerating the number of kids that were entering the playground. Using exaggeration of this nature adds interest and details/description to a piece of text.
Explore the author's purpose for including this information (from the previous novel) at this point in the text. What is its purpose? Why is it helpful to know?
This information about Stargirl is important to know and understand. In the first novel, Stargirl would often throw change on the sidewalk. Her objective in doing this was to allow others to be excited when they have found this change. This shows her compassionate nature. Also, at this point in the novel, it shows that she has changed because she has ceased to do some of the things that she used to do. She is clearly frustrated by this.
Often times, it seemed as though Stargirl did not question her actions and motivations. She makes it clear that she is starting to think about her decisions and how they might make her look. This is an interesting shift in her character.
In the first book (Stargirl), Stargirl very rarely appeared to have negative feelings about herself and the things around her. Why do you think that the author has chosen to add these feelings to this book?
The definition for the highlighted word, as it is used informally (slang), is a spirited person or a real character.
Judging from Betty Lou's reaction to Stargirl's news about Alvina, what can be said about Betty Lou's feelings about Alvina?
What does the addition of real states, cities, landmarks, etc. add to a text? Likewise, what is added (the significance) when the settings are fictional?
The picture below is that of the Columbia House, which is located on Bridge Street, in Pheonixville, PA. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a picture of the Blue Comet Diner, which is located in Hazleton, PA. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Stargirl often give people nicknames?
The highlighted text includes imagery, in order to help the reader to better understand the point that Stargirl is trying to make about the sensation that she hopes Leo has had. Imagery is the use of vivid, descriptive words (sensory words) to help the reader to picture the text's events, settings, etc.
Judging by the way that the author uses stars in his texts (Stargirl and Love, Stargirl), what does this object represent?
Archibald Hapwood Brubaker is a retired paleontologist and the wise man that Leo went to for advice in the previous novel. He is quirky. He speaks in riddles and has animal bones all over his house. He always gave Leo answers that were not straightforward; instead, they made him think.
According to Stargirl, what are Archie's feelings about Leo?
Using both texts (novel and History.com article), choose the theory that most closely relates to Stargirl's use of Stonehenge.
The link below contains a brief explanation of when and why Stonehenge was built. While reading, please consider which theory about its purpose relates to Stargirl's use of this structure in her letter to Leo. (This annotation contains a link)
The video below explores the definitions of the literary devices simile and metaphor. While watching, keep in mind that the highlighted text contains a simile. (This annotation contains a video)
Choose the simile that best describes Alvina's relationship with her brother.
Consider what the highlighted text reveals about Perry's character and how Stargirl views him. This shift in Stargirl's view of the people around her is quite intriguing.
Use the text to prove that Stargirl's interests are beginning to change, with relation to boys.
Based on what you know about cult classics, what group of people would most likely enjoy The Blob?
According to Oxford Dictionaries, a cult classic is, "Something, typically a movie or book, that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society." Example movies include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Scarface, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
What is the author's purpose for italicizing the highlighted text?
A person's tone of voice is the way in which he/she is speaking. A person's tone adds meaning to the words being spoken and helps a listener to better understand the speaker's intended message.
What literary device is used in the highlighted text?
Adding information such as this helps to indirectly characterize Perry. After revealing the fact that he has been in jail and has not been reformed, the reader is better equipped to understand Perry's decisions and motivations.
Based on Stargirl's conversation with Perry, choose the Bible verse that Stargirl would most likely agree with, with respect to their subject of discussion.
The word solstice comes from the Latin word for sun (sol) and to stand still (sistere). At the solstices, the sun stands still (at its highest point) before declining. More specifically, the seasonal movement of the Sun's path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing its direction. It's interesting to think that Stargirl is planning to celebrate this movement. This addition to the story serves to further characterize her.
The author most likely included the highlighted text for what reason?
Explain the simile in the highlighted text.
Again, the author is using imagery to help his reader to picture Charlie's character, as well as helping the reader to understand that Charlie is an older gentleman.
As you read, you may have noticed that the highlighted text contains personification. In saying that the root resisted, Stargirl is giving a human quality to a non-human thing.
What event has precipitated the highlighted spectacle?
Using the dialogue and events that transpire between Stargirl, Zombie, and ponytail, make a judgement call about how these girls feel about one another.
Did you know that back in 1980, homeschooling was illegal in 30 states? That's right! According to to edweek.org, "It was not until 1993 that all 50 states made the practice lawful." This website also stated that in 2009, it was estimated that about 1.5-2 million students were home schooled. This is an important fact because it makes Stargirl's parents' choice to home school her a bit less surprising than what the text is making it seem to its readers.
The highlighted text contains hyperbole. Not only is it unlikely that everyone is looking at Stargirl, but it is also impossible for the people's eyes to actually be on Stargirl's body. Instead, she is using hyperbole to strengthen her point.
Using the annotation as your guide, choose the option that offers the best definition for hyperbole, which is a literary device often used in texts.
The highlighted text contains an example of personification. Minutes do not have the ability to shorten or measure something, so that is why it is being personified. Watch the video below, in order to gain more clarification of this literary device. (This annotation contains a video)
Choose an instance of personification in this poem (excluding the example that I provided) about time/clocks. Once you have done this, explain what makes this choice an example of personification. More specifically, what is being personified, and how is this being done?
What literary device is used in the highlighted text?
Did you know that the Dogwood Festival is a real celebration in Phoenixville, PA? According to the Dogwood Festival website, "The Dogwood Parade and Festival has become part of the rubric of Phoenixville since it first started as a means of celebrating the arrival of spring and Armed Forces day. In fact, the first seven Dogwood queens earned their crowns by selling the most war bonds during World War II and the first Dogwood parades were one-day festivals ceremoniously held on Armed Forces Day. Instead of rides and games, though, the first Dogwood festivals offered only pony rides and homemade food from local residents. Following World War II and the Korean Conflict, the Phoenixville Jaycees continued the tradition by hosting an annual pageant to decide the Dogwood queen. As the years went on, the festival grew from one to four days during the 1970s and ‘80s to a six-day festival in the 1990s. The Dogwood Festival and Parade has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is now the second largest parade in Chester County, attracting more than 10,000 people annually."
Although Stargirl briefly discussed this play earlier, more clarification is necessary. Ondine is a play written by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux in 1938. It is a story about Hans and Ondine. Hans is a knight who has been sent off on a quest by the woman he is supposed to marry. In the forest, he meets and falls in love with Ondine. She is a water sprite (fairy) who is attracted to the human world. The couple marry, yet this marriage of people from different worlds is foolish. The story becomes comical and tragic. At the end of the play, Hans is sentenced to death, and Ondine is forced to forget about him forever. In fact, the closing lines include, "Who is this handsome young man lying here, can you bring him back to life, Old One?" He replies, "Impossible." As the curtain falls, Ondine says, "What a pity! How I should have loved him!" Ondine is considered by some to be Giraudoux's finest work.
Using the information provided about Ondine, relate this play's plot to the events that are taking place in Stargirl's life.
The highlighted text contains a metaphor that is being used by Stargirl's father as sarcasm. Her father is going along with Alvina's distaste for boys (comparing them to rats), in hopes of getting a rise out of this little spitfire.
Make an inference as to the author's purpose for including Stargirl's parents sparingly into this text. When crafting your answer, consider the events that took place when these characters were included in the plot. Do these characters' actions drive the story forward, or is their insertion mainly purposeless?
Choose the literary device used in the highlighted text.
It's important to notice that, while Stargirl is telling a story about her interaction with Perry (someone who she has feelings for), she flashes back to an event with Leo. This illustrates the admiration and nostalgia she feels for her time with Leo.
What is ironic about Stargirl asking for a label?
The simile in the highlighted text (comparing a conversation with Perry to the zig-zagging during a soccer game) serves to characterize him as un-focused and a bit random.
Based on the way that Stargirl describes Perry to Leo, make an inference as to her level of confidence and optimism about her impending relationship with Leo.
The highlighted text contains a metaphor comparing Perry to a rolling stone. This metaphor, when broken down, means that Perry is a person who never sits still or settles down in one place.
A harem is a group of females that share the same mate. Keeping this fact in mind, consider what this says about Perry. Is it true?
An argument can be made that it's not fair for Stargirl to try to change and/or fix Perry. What do you think; does he need to be changed? Is Stargirl the best person to help him to make these changes?
Choose the option below that is a characteristic of Neva that was revealed via indirect characterization.
It's very interesting and could be considered ironic that Stargirl, a seemingly free-spirit, is facing uncertainty in herself. Also, someone is telling her, as opposed to the opposite, to be comfortable with living in the moment. Isn't that what she used to try to teach others?
Using what you know about the situation and Stargirl, what advice would you give her, with relation to this current situation? How would your advice compare/differ from Betty Lou's?
Why do you think that Stargirl seems so much more angry at Perry for not showing up to Calendar Hill than she is for Leo's choice not to ask her to the Ocotillo Ball? It seems as though she was able to forgive Leo. Do you think that she will be able to forgive Perry?
Make an inference as to the true reason for Alvina's anger toward Stargirl.
Choose the theme that could be attributed to the current plot event.
According to WebMD, "the number one cause of death related to fires is smoke inhalation. An estimated 50-80% of fire deaths are the result of smoke inhalation injuries rather than burns... Smoke inhalation occurs when you breathe in the products of combustion during a fire. Combustion results from the rapid breakdown of a substance by heat." The most likely cause of Stargirl's ailment is the formation of chemicals after combustion, which then came into contact with her mucous membranes. These chemicals in a person's body can disrupt the normal lining of the respiratory tract. "This disruption can potentially cause swelling, airway collapse, and respiratory distress."
The picture below is a sign (on Brdige Street in Phoenixville, PA) for Route 113. Yet again, the author has inserted real places into the plot of this novel. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you think is the main purpose for including this plot element? Why was it important for Cinnamon to get lost? Why do you think that the author chose to have Arnold return this item to Stargirl?
A "Dear John" letter is one that is used by a woman to break up with their boyfriend from a distance. Knowing that, you may better understand why Stargirl does not want to address her letter to Leo in a similar fashion.
Breakdown the meaning of Stargirl's explanation and understanding of her mother's thoughts. What does she mean by these words? How do these words sum-up most of the story's plot?
It speaks volumes about Stargirl's treatment of her friends, since Alvina not only forgave her, but she has also accepted the fact that one of Stargirl's "jobs" is to keep her out of trouble.
For what reason does Stargirl want to help Alvina?
Below is a picture of a mockingbird. Mockingbirds are songbirds that mimic the sounds of birds, insects, and amphibians. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Maudie Atkinson explained to Scout (the narrator) that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. After Atticus told Scout this fact Maudie stated, "Your father's right," she said. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." (This annotation contains an image)
Using the sentiment taught to Scout by her father and Miss Maudie, explain the qualities that make Stargirl like a mockingbird.
What event has been the catalyst in pushing Stargirl to believe in this sentiment?
According to Dictionary.com, the meaning and origin of the idiom "in stitches" is to laugh uncontrollably. It most likely originated from William Shakespeare's "expression in Twelfth Night, "If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourselves into stitches, follow me" (Act III.2). Stitches here refers to the sharp local pain (known as a stitch in the side ) that can make one double over, much as a fit of laughter can."
Based on its use in the text, what does it mean for someone to be "in stitches"?
What examples can be provided to support that idea that Stargirl trusts Arnold?
Did you know that the average high temperature in December (in PA) is about 40 degrees? The average low is about 20 degrees. With that in mind, Stargirl's solstice celebration preparation is surely growing quite arduous.
Why are the store owners often accepting of Perry's stealing of their goods?
In the highlighted text, we see, yet again, that Stargirl is not as confident as she seemed in the first book (Stargirl). In fact, these comments actually make her seem quite down on herself. Why do you think that the author chose to characterize her in this manner? Why not make her truly confident?
The Carboniferous Period began about 359 million years ago. According to National Geographic, during this period, "deadly poisonous centipedes some six feet (two meters) in length crawled in the company of mammoth cockroaches and scorpions as much as three feet (one meter) long. Most impressive of all were dragonflies that grew to the size of seagulls." (This annotation contains an image)
You have probably noticed that this novel is written from a unique point-of-view and in a unique manner. Stargirl narrates her story in letter form. Watch the video below to learn more about point-of-view. While doing so, consider why the author has chosen the particular point-of-view for this novel. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what you know about points-of-view in novels, explain your thoughts and feelings about the author's choice to have Stargirl narrate this novel. What does it add to the text? What does structuring the novel as a long letter add or take away from the novel's structure?
Choose lines (at least 2) from the text that signal to the reader that the novel is coming to a close and a resolution is near. Once you have done this, explain why you chose each example.