Stargirl Questions and Answers
by Jerry Spinelli

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What are some character traits of Stargirl Caraway?

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Tina Bishop, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since Spinelli's Stargirl is written from Leo's perspective, readers see Stargirl from the narrator's point of view. For example, many of the students, including Leo, do not believe that Stargirl is authentic. Hillari tells everyone, "She's not real," but they are in for a surprise because she turns out to be the only "real" person at Mica Area High School (7).

Some of Stargirl's character traits that the students witness are her friendliness, kindness, and originality. She is friendly because she sings to others in the lunchroom on their birthdays. She is kind because she not only cheers for the high school's team, but for the opposing team as well; more importantly, her originality shines because of the way she dresses; she does not act like other teenagers—at least not at first. When she does try to conform in order to keep her relationship with Leo intact, she discovers that she cannot be happy acting like anyone other than her true self.

A few other characteristics to include with the above might be that she loves animals and that she is not prejudiced in this regard because she has a pet rat. (Something most girls would not even touch!)  She is also naive to vanity or pettiness. For instance, when the whole school is mad at her in chapter 25, not only is she clueless to that fact until Leo tells her, she also does not understand why people are so upset. Leo tells her something has to change and she thinks she has to change a bike tire! She is very childlike.

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Stargirl is self-confident. For much of the novel, she simply doesn't care what other people think. She cheers for both teams at sporting events, sings "Happy Birthday" to strangers, is friends with just about anybody and everybody, and is self assured enough to dress the way that she wants.

Stargirl is naturally curious as well. For example, she points out all kinds of random things to Leo that she notices about the world around her. From struggling ants to a man repainting his door, Stargirl is interested in and curious about everything.  

Lastly, I would say that Stargirl loves. She loves people for who they are, and she loves them no matter how mean they are to her. Stargirl perfectly embodies the concept of "turning the other cheek" to people who are bullies. For example, near the end of the novel, Hillari Kimble is furious at Stargirl. Hillari walks up to Stargirl and slaps her. Instead of becoming angry and slapping Hillari back, Stargirl calmly kisses Hillari on the cheek. That's loving your enemy as yourself.

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