Hi everyone! It has been so long since I have submitted an article to the VanderVault, and I decided it was finally time to make my return. I have been wanting to write an article for a while, but I was unsure of what to write about. Luckily, I have found inspiration for another article.
It started about two weeks ago, when I was in my school library. Each month, we must read a different book, and later do a report on it. I was in the library looking for a book when I came across “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli. I knew I had to read it instantly, because Grace stars in the film. I really had no idea what the plot of “Stargirl” was, and I have been extremely curious about the story ever since I figured out Grace was going to be in the movie. I have since read half of the book, and it is one of the best books I have ever read!
It makes perfect sense for Grace to play Stargirl, because they are actually quite similar. They both play the ukulele and are extremely wise beyond their years. They also are not afraid to be themselves and show their individuality. At first, I figured “Stargirl” would be the narrator and the story would be told from her perspective, but as I began reading, I saw the story was being told from the perspective of a boy, “Leo Borlock”.
In case you are unfamiliar with this story, “Leo Borlock” is an eleventh grader who lives in Mica, Arizona and collects porcupine neckties. “Stargirl” is finally going to an actual school for tenth grade after being home-schooled for her entire life. Leo and Kevin, his best friend, along with the rest of the school are extremely intrigued by her because she is so different. She dresses in strange clothes and decorates her desk in each class. She dances in the rain, and even cheers for the other teams as a cheerleader. At first, she is extremely popular. She likes to sing Happy Birthday to kids at lunch every day with her ukulele, which leads other kids in the school to bring ukuleles to lunch and play. Things end up going downhill for her though, which I will explain later.
One day, while Leo is eating his lunch, she tells him she thinks he is cute. Leo is embarrassed, but later discovers he has feelings for Stargirl, and they end up together. Eventually, problems ensue when the kids decide she is too different, and that they don’t like her anymore. Leo falls in love with her, and as a result, no one talks to him or even gets close to him in the hallways at school when he is with her. In fact, people try to stay away from Stargirl. They don’t want to talk to her anymore. I have gotten up to a point where Leo must decide whether he cares more about Stargirl and being with her, or the other people around him that hate her.
For a part of this article, I wanted to talk about how wise and kind “Stargirl” really is. “Stargirl” is extremely smart, but her peers are not quite as intelligent as she is, so they misread the good things she does for bad things. For example, a boy named Danny Pike, who was only nine years old, was riding his bike when he had a crash. He hurt himself really badly, and he had to go to the Children’s Hospital in Phoenix for a long time. Once he finally returned home, a big celebration was held. Many people that knew him came, and were thrilled he was back home. He was even given a new bike, since his old one got destroyed in the crash. The thing was, no one in his family bought him the bike, and they were trying to see who got it for him. No one knew this, but “Stargirl” got him the bike.
Kids found “Stargirl” strange and creepy for showing up to strangers’ celebrations. There was a funeral held for someone she didn’t know, but she showed up. Afterwards, there was a banquet of sorts, where one of the relatives of the deceased person told her to leave because she didn’t know the person and wasn’t invited. People thought she was weird, but really, she only was trying to be kind.
In the book, “Leo” says, “She has no ego.” which is definitely true because she doesn’t feel pain when unkind words are thrown at her, but when someone else is in pain or hurt, she feels their pain. She is sad when others are sad, and happy when others are happy. That is why she cheers for the other team at football or basketball games, because when they score a point, they get excited and she also feels their excitement. Her other peers don’t share that same feeling though. They say she should only cheer for “her” team. She asks them if they even get a little excited for the other team to which they say no. They only care about their own team winning. “Stargirl” is much more intelligent than the people around her. She is extremely positive and joyful, no matter what. Grace is like that in a lot of ways too, which is another great reason for Grace to play “Stargirl”.
For the final part of this article, I wanted to talk about how “Stargirl” likes to disconnect herself from her surroundings and become “one with the universe.” One day, she takes Leo to an “enchanted place” which turns out to be the desert, but Leo doesn’t see anything enchanting about it. “Stargirl” can see the enchantment all around her though. She thinks on a deeper level than most people her age. She talks about shutting her brain and senses off, and just letting the universe enter into her, which I find very interesting. She is just such a special being, and I think Grace is quite similar to “Stargirl” in many ways.
I cannot wait to see the film because I know it will be incredible! I also am just really excited to see Grace act for the first time. I know it will be amazing!
Thanks for reading,