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by Jerry Spinelli
Leo Borlock Timeline and Summary
In his junior year of high school, Leo meets the new girl in class. He is taken aback by her strange outfits and behavior. Her name is Stargirl. Leo and his best bud Kevin are pumped that they potentially have a very interesting new guest for their television show, "Hot Seat." But the more he learns about Stargirl, the more hesitant he is to put her on the show, which causes some tension between him and Kevin. The more Leo thinks about her, the more he becomes fascinated by Stargirl. In fact, he seems to be developing a bit of a crush. Meanwhile, Stargirl makes a name for herself in high school with her crazy antics and her random acts of kindness. As she grows more popular, Leo relents and allows her to be on "Hot Seat." He and Kevin plan a big show. But Stargirl's antics cause a dip in her popularity (and by dip we mean her popularity plummets), and Leo regrets his decision. Nevertheless, they move forward with the show, which turns into a huge disaster. People heckle and insult Stargirl on camera. Meanwhile, Leo finds a Valentine in his notebook from Stargirl that says she loves him. He's scared at first, but eventually the two of them strike up a relationship. The two of them enjoy each other's company, and Leo begins to see the world from all kinds of different perspectives. Unfortunately, their relationship causes Leo to become just as unpopular as Stargirl is. Unable to take the abuse, Leo asks Stargirl to change, or else they can't be together. His ultimatum prompts Stargirl to become Susan, an exceedingly normal girl. But her normal behavior doesn't win her any friends, so Susan switches back to Stargirl, which makes Leo angry. The two of them break up, and Stargirl attends the Ocotillo Ball by herself, while Leo watches from afar. She has a great night, and regains her popularity for a brief moment. But then she disappears entirely the next day, and Leo never sees her again. Even fifteen years later, Leo is still talking about Stargirl, and trying to figure out who she is and what she meant to him.