When Stargirl (formally called Susan), joins public school in 10th grade, the other kids can’t handle the former homeschooler. Full of energy and eccentric charisma, she goes against every grain of what is considered normal teen behavior. At first kids enjoy her differences, but then things begin to sour. Fellow student Leo becomes her “boyfriend” and reflects on the impact she made on not only himself, but also the entire community.
The story revolves entirely around public high school, and includes references to cliques, dating, and making out. The other kids call Stargirl an alien and consider her an example of home schooling gone “amok”.
If you can get past the extreme example the author used for the home school student (innocent bohemian flower child who loves dancing in the rain, strumming her ukulele, and bringing her pet rat to school) you might be charmed by Stargirl’s personality and genuine love for others. I like the fact that ‘Stargirl” kept her individuality despite the pressure to conform. But, I thought the author’s characterization a huge turn-off, and predict it will only add to the common misconceptions many people already have about home schooling.