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by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

"He says when a mockingbird sings, for all we know it's pitching fossils into the air. He says who knows what songs of ancient creatures we may be hearing out there." (27.72).

This really cool thought makes Shmoop want to know way more about these fossil pitchers. Just how long have mockingbirds been around?

Quote #8

It was a jumble, it was a mishmash, and somehow she pulled it together, somehow she threaded every different thing through the voice of a solitary mockingbird singing in the desert. She called her speech "I Might Have Heard a Moa" (28.5).

It is through her interest in our natural past that Stargirl comes up with a fabulous idea for a speech. And you know what, she's right. According to Archie, she just might have heard a moa. We don't know about you, but the next time Shmoop hears a mockingbird, we'll be listening for a moa call.

Quote #9

"Star people are rare. You'll be lucky to meet another."

"Star people?" I said. "You're losing me here."

He chuckled. "That's okay. I lose myself. It's just my odd-ball way of accounting for someone I don't really understand any more than you do."

"So where do stars come in"

He pointed with the pipe stem. "The perfect question. In the beginning, that's where they come in. They supplied the ingredients that became us, the primordial elements. We are star stuff, yes?" He held up the skull of Barney, the Paleocene rodent. "Barney too, hm?"

"And I think every once in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we're made of" (32. 17-23).

Here it is, folks, the key to understanding Stargirl, and maybe even ourselves. You see, humans are made of stardust. Nope, we're not crazy. It's totally the truth. Most of us go blithely through life having forgotten this awesome fact. But Stargirl hasn't forgotten. And this means she is more deeply connected to our past as stars than any of the other characters of the novel. She's Stargirl because she remembers: we are all made of stars.

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