Stargirl Jerry Spinelli| Stargirl is a mysterious new student that shows up at Leo Borlock’s high school. During a period of time when everyone wants to fit in, Stargirl makes every attempt to stand out. She wears outlandish outfits and carries around her pet rat (how she was able to get away with brining her rat to school is beyond me)! Stargirl makes a habit of ambushing people on their birthday so she can serenade them a birthday song on her ukulele. Everyone is mesmerized by this previously homeschooled girl. Like some sort of dream, Stargirl comes into this school to teach everyone what it means to be your true authentic self.
Dream-like is about the only way I can describe this book. These characters didn’t seem real, yet they were. I don’t know if I could see this story playing out in a real high school….it almost seemed surreal. Nonetheless, the story teaches a great lesson about how important it is to be yourself.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie| Arnold Spirit, aka Junior, is a 14 year old boy that lives on an Indian Reservation in Washington. He was born with Hydrocephalus, which means he has excess cerebral fluid on his brain. This causes things like seizures, bad eyesight and stuttering. It also causes Junior to be the target of many bullies on the reservation. Junior is getting wore out by the bleak reservation life. He is tired of the alcoholics and the violence they cause. He is tired of living in a world where his parents aren’t able to consistently put food on the table. Junior wants better, and makes the bold decision to attend an all white school outside of the reservation. He is met with a mixture of support and rejection as he navigates his way through his first year of high school.
Wow! I was completely blown away by this book. I saw it on many people’s blogs, and finally decided to try it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the heart wrenching, beautifully written story that I got. Again, I felt like I found another author that was able to write such authentic characters. I’ve found that’s part of what makes a good book for me–how authentic and relatable the characters are. This book will tear your heart to pieces within the first two chapters! It provides an insightful and unfortunately accurate portrayal of life on a reservation.