by Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl Exploration Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
In the beginning I still could not see. She might be pointing to a doorway, or a person, or the sky. But such things were so common to my eyes, so undistinguished, that they would register as "nothing." I walked in a gray would of nothings (20.13).
Stargirl's ability to see the wonder in the commonplace is a true gift. She tries to show Leo all the wonderful things around him, and at first he is not able to figure out what she is talking about at all. He doesn't know how to see. But why? Has the conformist world of Mica High put blinders on him?
Or she would kneel down and pull me down with her and show me the ants, two of them, lugging the lopped leg of a beetle twenty times their size across the sidewalk, as might two men, were they strong as ants, carry a full-grown tree from one end of town to the other (20.16).
Ants, those pesky things that crawl in your kitchen, are actually a source of wonder for Stargirl the explorer. Maybe if we were a bit more like her, we'd spend more time observing ants and less time squashing them underfoot. Maybe.
But finally, after much pestering from me, she did tell me how she knew what was going on in people's lives. It was simple, she said. She read the daily paper. Not the headlines or the front page or the sports page or the comics or the TV listings or the Hollywood gossip. What she read were the parts that most people ignored, the parts without headlines and pictures, the boondocks of the paper: the hospital admissions, the death notices, the birthday and wedding announcements, the police blotter, the coming events calendar.
Most of all, she read the fillers… little items that are not considered important enough to be a story or to have a headline. "They're never more than one column wide, never more than an inch or two deep" (21.2).
Stargirl is even an explorer in the way she reads the newspaper. She looks for the hidden important information in the "boondocks." She gets a lot of information about people this way, and then she uses that information to do nice things for people who are technically strangers. Wow. She manages to be both incredibly creepy and incredibly sweet at the same time. Only Stargirl.