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Free Study Guide: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

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When Leo Borlock was little, his Uncle Pete wore a necktie with a porcupine on it. Leo was fascinated by that tie. When Leo moved to Arizona at the age of twelve, Uncle Pete gave him the necktie. This pleased Leo greatly. Leo tried to start a porcupine necktie collection, but he could never find another porcupine tie.

For Leo’s fourteenth birthday his mother put a piece in the local paper about him. The paper featured local children on their birthdays. In the piece, Leo’s mother mentioned that Leo collected porcupine neckties.

A short time after the article appeared in the paper, Leo found another porcupine necktie in a package on his front step. The package it came in did not have the name of the sender. It was a mystery.


The way this book starts is unusual. It does not start with Chapter 1. It starts with a short piece about the past. As we read Chapter 1, we will be wondering what the connection between that first part and the rest of the story is. But, as we read the story, we will come to something that reminds us of the beginning and gives us an answer.



As the school reopened the year that Leo entered eleventh grade, he kept hearing references to someone very interesting. Then, he saw her. Her name was Stargirl Caraway. She was not dressed like the rest of the girls. She wore a long off-white dress with ruffles. She had blonde hair and freckles, and wore no makeup. She carried a ukulele on her back. Leo found out that she was a tenth-grader who had been home-schooled. In the lunch room no one actually sat with her, but everyone wanted to sit close enough to get a good look at her and to observe her.

Leo and his friend, Kevin immediately wanted her to be a guest on their in-school TV show, Hot Seat. With only the little knowledge they had, they knew that she would be a great guest.

Toward the end of the lunch period, Stargirl played the ukulele as she walked around the lunch room.


The school busily watched the new student and wondered why she was not more like they were. The students wondered what made her want to look and behave differently.

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Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli: Free BookNotes Summary

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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on Stargirl". . 09 May 2017