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by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl Theme of Wisdom and Knowledge

Sometimes we think of teachers as the ones who have all the answers. They are the great holders of all the facts that we must memorize and regurgitate on a test. But that's not what we're dealing with in Stargirl. In this novel, the true teachers, Archie and Stargirl, impart valuable wisdom and surprising knowledge in unconventional ways. It's all about showing students how to pay attention and ask the right questions. That way, those very same students will one day become teachers in their own right. And thanks to Archie and Stargirl, Leo has learned a whole new way of looking at the world.

Questions About Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. What are some of the things that the students learn from Archie? And what makes the retired professor such a good teacher?
  2. Is Stargirl a teacher? How so? Can you be both a teacher and a student at the same time?
  3. Does Leo ever teach anyone anything? Or is he solely a student?
  4. What is the most valuable lesson learned by any of the characters in this novel? Why?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

For Stargirl, and then for Leo, the most important learning comes outside of the classroom.

Archie teaches Leo the valuable lesson that sometimes, the questions you ask are far more important than the answers.

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