Critical Essay On Stargirl

Topics: High school, Character, Adolescence, Fiction, Academic term / Pages: 5 (1083 words) / Published: Dec 16th, 2016
Critical Analysis Paper
Stargirl, a realistic fiction novel written by Jerry Spinelli, was published in New York in 2000. The novel would be a great read for children around the fourth-grade to sixth-grade reading level. The book discusses nonconformity and identity that many children face throughout their school years. Stargirl emphasizes an impactful message for young adolescents regarding personal identity and finding yourself.
The book is narrated by Leo Borlock, a junior at Mica Area High School. The main focus of the entire school shifts to a girl who goes by the name of Stargirl Caraway. Stargirl does not fit the typical appearance of other children who attend Mica High, she wears unique outfits and does not care what anyone else thinks. She wears kimonos, Indian buckskin, 1920s flapper dresses and pioneer skirts to school. She carries her pet rat, Cinnamon,
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Typically books will examine the setting, characterization, plot, theme, and style that the author has presented. Jerry Spinelli sets this story in small town Mica, Arizona. This town is not an actual town in Arizona, but his depiction of the town makes it seem real to a reader. The high school where most of the story takes place seems plausible to a reader’s current day mental picture of a school. The choice of a small town to be the setting of the story adds to the school’s overall judgment and conformity. With the setting being in Arizona, the area is also dry desert area, which relates to the situation Leo feels when he is shunned along with Stargirl. Leo felt the silent treatment he received was like "a second desert imposed upon the one I already lived in, where 'Hi' was as rare as rain" (131). Spinelli strategically chooses his literary devices that create a deeper meaning in a reader’s mind, and reinforces his message of the effects of social isolation or conformity can have on a person’s

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