Stargirl Questions and Answers
by Jerry Spinelli

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What lesson did you learn from the story?Give an example from the story that showed you this(describe the part of the story)? What lesson did you learn from the story?Give an example from the story that showed you this(describe the part of the story)?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the paramount lessons to be learned is to value individuality over blind conformity. This story pits exuberant individuality against extreme conformity and tracks how individuality enlivens conformity, bringing inspiration and new vision to conformity. The story also shows that extremism in any direction--trying to adopted ways that are alien to you, like Stargirl did for Jason; group rule mentality; enthusiastically crossing social boundaries without sensibility and perception, like Stargirl did with the opponent basketball player--may be construed as action without thought or regard for consequences and may be seen as counterproductive to the adaptation to each other of the opposing qualities of individuality and conformity: counterproductive of a synthesis of approaches to life that opens the way to acceptance, creativity and responsiveness.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the things I so appreciate about Stargirl is her ability to make a celebration out of small things. She comes into the classroom and puts a flower on her desk. She sees her neighbor boy learning to ride his bicycle, a typical desert sunset, and any other number of small moments and they are a cause for celebration. I wish I could be more like that.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Any question like this will feature different answers.  In true Stargirl manner, one should try to embrace as many of them as possible.  I think that one of the most powerful lessons from Spinelli's work is that time moves fast.  In order to make the best of it, one might have to break from the pack and find their own path.  Those that do, like Stargirl, might live a more contented life and impact those who will follow them.  Stargirl might not have set out to make the world a better place, but because of her spirit and her willingness to embrace her own identity in a world of conformity, she is able to do just that.  Leo, on the other hand, is plagued with the hypothetical because he was imprisoned by his own fear.  I think that Spinelli does an excellent job of showing how social acceptance and the seemingly pressing need to conform are temporary conditions.  They are reflective of a contingent moment.  The only transcendent condition is the character and sense of dignity that one has within them.  In order to overcome this painful state of contingency, one has to revert to their own sense of identity, the element that stays with them for the rest of their lives.  It is for this reason that Stargirl is happier and leaves an impact back on MAHS.  It is also for this reason that Leo ends up being a character shrouded in what could have been as opposed to reveling in who he is, as Stargirl does.

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cweyrens | Student

I learned to be myself even if others think its a little weird.

When Leo asks Stargirl to change to Susan and she isn't really her so that was because people thought she was crazy and disliked her which made Leo want her to change.