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Free Study Guide: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

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After dinner Kevin and Leo walked to Archie Brubaker’s place. Archie was a retired university professor who continued to teach informally. His official area of expertise was paleontology. But, he possessed knowledge on many subjects. He had an unending supply of informal students. Kevin and Leo were two of them.

When they arrived at his place they greeted Archie and then saluted Señor Saguaro, a thirty foot high cactus for which Archie expected respect. They then positioned themselves in rocking chairs on Archie’s back porch and asked about Stargirl. They discovered that Archie already knew her. In fact she was one of his students. She had been for years. Her mother had sent her to Archie once a week back in the days when she was homeschooling Stargirl.

Kevin wanted to know if Stargirl was “real.” Leo was pleased to hear that Archie, like Leo, considered her to be completely “real.”

In answer to another question, Archie told Kevin and Leo that, when she was younger, Stargirl gave herself other names. Three of her earlier names had been Pocket Mouse, Mudpie, and Hullygully.

Kevin and Leo found out that Stargirl’s mother made costumes for movies. Her father worked for MicaTronics, the major employer in Mica, AZ.

Kevin told Archie about their dispute regarding whether or not to put Stargirl on the Hot Seat. Archie simply told them to work it out between them. But he did seem to look approvingly on Leo, who did not want to put her on the Hot Seat.

Archie gave the impression that he believed that Stargirl was closer to being a genuine, unadulterated person than most people. The rest of the community could more accurately be referred to as “strange.”


The character, Archie Brubaker, is a welcome addition to the book. Now that he is on board we can begin to understand Stargirl better. He is similar to a guide.



As the school became more familiar with Stargirl, she became more popular. Here are some occurrences that contributed to the change:

Stargirl was now a cheerleader. She performed when she should and when she shouldn’t, where she should and where she shouldn’t. In the last game of the season, her first as a cheerleader, she shinnied up a goalpost and walked out to the middle of the crossbar, where she stood with her arms raised. She was forced to come down, but was treated like a hero.

One day Hillary Kimble hung Cinnamon, Stargirl’s pet rat over a stairwell in a threatening manner. Finally she just dropped the rat to the floor where she was standing.

One day Stargirl ate lunch with Dori Dilson, a ninth-grade poet who nobody knew. After that there was always a crowd at Stargirl’s lunch table. After that Stargirl was never seen alone anywhere.

After the break for Thanksgiving, Stargirl’s change in standing was clear to everyone. No one any longer avoided her. No one any longer gossiped about her, except in a good way. Students imitated her in many ways. They danced in the rain. They played ukuleles. They acquired pet rats.

Stargirl tried out for the yearly oratorical contest. She was chosen to go to the state finals. Everyone was happy about the choice.


It is difficult to explain the dynamics of the change in the student body’s attitude toward Stargirl.

It was obvious that the changes in the student body were good for the student body as well as for Stargirl.

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Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli: Free BookNotes Summary

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