Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 Summary
Things inexplicably begin to change around Thanksgiving. By the beginning of December, Stargirl is the most popular person at Mica High, though no one is quite sure why.
Cheerleading might be the reason. Stargirl only cheers for the last home football game of the season. The crowds are huge and Stargirl does not disappoint—she never stops cheering. She cheers in front of the home crowd, the concession stands, the other team’s cheerleaders, and the team. At halftime she plays her ukulele with the band, then promptly shimmies up the goalposts and is then chased off the field. No one cares that they lost the game.
Hillari Kimble might be the reason. Shortly after the birthday incident, Hillari manages to grab Stargirl’s pet rat, Cinnamon. She holds him by the tail over the railing of a stairwell, threatening to drop him. Everyone is mesmerized, and Stargirl is silent. Someone cries out for Hillari not to do it. She drops Cinnamon—but only to the floor at her feet. With a final sneer, Hillari walks away from the crowd.
Dori Dilson might be the reason. Dori, a ninth grader, is another rather poetic free spirit who begins sitting with Stargirl at lunch. Soon after, their table is always full.
Perhaps the students have changed. After the Thanksgiving break, students regularly call out “Stargirl!” in greeting, tell others about the quirky new girl, and embrace her in the hallways. Everyone from the most timid to the most gregarious seems under her spell. Many ukuleles are now played at lunch, many desks are adorned with flowers, others dance outside in the rain, and the pet store is sold out of rats.
The first week in December is the annual Arizona League of Women Voters oratorical contest, where students can have the microphone for seven minutes in a public speaking competition. Only three or four students generally participate, but this year there are thirteen. Stargirl, of course, is the shining star of the competition with her performance speech entitled “Elf Owl, Call Me by My First Name.” While the judges are deliberating, they show a film clip of last year’s winner and his triumphant return to his school, surrounded...
(The entire section is 576 words.)