The book I read was Stargirl written by Jerry Spinelli.

The main character of this book is Susan Caraway, but everyone knows her as Stargirl. Stargirl is about 16 years old. She is in 10th grade. Her hair is the color of sand and falls to her shoulders. A “sprinkle” of freckles crosses her nose. Mostly, she looked like a hundred other girls in school, except for two things. She didn’t wear makeup and her eyes were bigger than anyone else’s in the school. Also, she wore outrageous clothes. Normal for her was a long floor-brushing pioneer dress or skirt. Stargirl is definitely different. She’s a fun loving, free-spirited girl who no one had ever met before. She was the friendliest person in school. She loves all people, even people who don’t play for her school’s team. She doesn’t care what others think about her clothes or how she acts. The lesson that Stargirl learned was that you can’t change who you are. If you change for someone else, you will only make yourself miserable. She also learned that the people who really care about you will like you for who you are. The people who truly love you won’t ask you to change who you are.

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The setting of the story is Mica Area High School in Arizona. The kids who attended this high school all wore the same clothes, talked the same way, ate the same food, and listened to the same music. They were pretty much identical to each another. The city had been built around an electronics business park. The city was only 15 years old. It was a town in the middle of the dessert where everyone’s front yard was made up of stones and cactuses. This story could have taken place in another time because the issue that the main character, Stargirl, is dealing with is a timeless problem. People always have trouble accepting other people who are not like them. Not to mention that cliques and popularity in high schools have been since anyone can remember. We all need to belong, even Stargirl.

The story begins with a new girl at school. The story is told by another 10th grader, Leo Burlock. Susan Caraway, better know as Stargirl, is a 10th grader who has just come to Mica Area High School wearing a pioneer type dress, strumming her ukulele, and carrying her pet rat, Cinnamon, on her shoulder. In time, the students learn to love her. She soon becomes the most popular girl in school. But her popularity begins to wear off when she carries it a little too far. Leo befriends Stargirl and becomes his first love. Leo has to choose between being normal like the rest of his friends and showing his love for Stargirl. Leo has a long talk with Stargirl about her not being normal. After that, she changes her clothes and ways for Leo. She becomes normal for him. But she finds out that she is better off to just be herself. Leo doesn’t understand her. In the end, they both learn a very important lesson, if you try to change someone you will only end up hurting them.
There are many lessons in this story. One of those lessons is that you can’t change who you are. I think the main lesson is to always be yourself. Stargirl was a living example of this.