Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli has long been a beloved book by the students of Mount Alvernia, and when we learned that it was being made into a movie on Disney+ we were very excited! See our review of the book and movie below – we highly recommend both!
Synopsis of book and movie:
Stargirl is the story of a girl who has been homeschooled until she decides to go to school in the 10th grade. When she arrives, she turns the school upside down simply by being herself. The story is told from Leo’s perspective; he has always been a boy that has worked hard to fit in. When Stargirl arrives and is unapologetically herself, Leo is fascinated, in fact the whole school is. Stargirl becomes well-liked by all the students, and she becomes good friends with Leo. Leo then takes it upon himself to educate Stargirl on why it’s important to try and fit in. Stargirl then has to decide whether she continues to be the person she wants to be, or if she changes to fit in better at school.
Thoughts on the book:
Short, sweet, easy to read and so touching. The story is told from Leo’s perspective and because of that, you end up being fascinated by the mystery that is Stargirl. The struggle inside Leo’s head when he first sees Stargirl and whether he should associate with someone so different is well done, and you really feel like you understand where he’s coming from. I’m not going to lie, there were some points where I didn’t like Leo very much, but I completely understand why he thought and acted the way he did.
Thoughts on the movie:
Disney has done such an amazing job of bringing this story to life. Grace VanderWaal, is an immensely talented actor and she is perfect for Stargirl. Graham Verchere is the perfect Leo, awkward, quiet, and afraid to stand out. In addition to a perfect cast and catchy musical numbers, Disney has used very clever cinematography tricks to make the school seem brighter and more colourful when Stargirl is around. Overall, this is a family-friendly movie with a moral to the story.