Stargirl Introduction and Chapter 1 Summary
by Jerry Spinelli

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Introduction and Chapter 1 Summary

Prologue: Porcupine Necktie

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Leo begins his story by telling about his uncle’s necktie, the one with the porcupine painted on it. Leo loved that tie and wanted one of his own, but he could not find one. When he was twelve, he and his family moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Uncle Phil came to say good-bye, wearing his porcupine tie. In a dramatic gesture, his uncle “whipped off the tie” and promptly put it around Leo’s neck as a going-away present.

Leo loved that tie so much he decided to start a porcupine tie collection. After two years in Arizona, his collection consisted of...one tie. Mica, Arizona, was apparently not a popular place for porcupine ties. On Leo’s fourteenth birthday, Leo’s mother submitted her son’s name and a brief biography to the local paper. Leo read that his hobby was collecting porcupine ties.

After school a few days later, Leo found a gift-wrapped package on his porch with a “Happy Birthday” gift tag on it. He opened it and discovered a porcupine necktie. He could find no name or other identifying marks on the gift to know from whom it came. It remained a mystery, and he had no idea then that “we were all being watched.”

Chapter 1

It is the first day of school after summer vacation. Leo Borlock is greeted by his best friend, Kevin, on their first day of eleventh grade with this question: “Did you see her?” Leo had heard nothing, but the rest of the school was buzzing with the news of a new tenth-grade student. Stargirl Caraway was her name, or at least it was the name she announced to everyone in homeroom that first morning of classes. Anyone who had not yet had the opportunity to meet the new girl certainly got to experience her at lunch.

Stargirl is dressed like a flower child from the sixties in a long, off-white dress with a flared skirt and ruffles at the neck and cuff. She has a large, canvas bag embellished with a giant, painted-on sunflower as well as a ukulele strapped...

(The entire section is 529 words.)