Dear Jerry Spinelli,
There was a new girl in my class at school. She had on ugly clothes, her hair wasn't brushed, and she was talking to an eraser. Everyone thought she was a little weird. The stories she told seemed like lies, and she didn't have any friends. She was an outcast from the beginning.
In a way, I felt sorry for her without friends, but I felt that she was trying to stay alone since she knew what other kids were like and acted the exact opposite. I thought about her a lot, and since she sat across from me I had to listen to her talk to herself, and I got a vivid picture of her odd personality. If she wanted friends, why didn't she try to fit in?
Around this time was when I read Stargirl. I thought this girl was a little bit like Stargirl in that she was different and made no effort to change herself to make friends. I thought the characters in your book displayed real courage and amazing potential. I wanted this new girl to be accepted a little, so I made it my goal to be nice to her.
The next day I invited her to sit with me on the bus. We did our math homework together. Later that week I invited her to sit with me at lunch, but she was busy. I saw this girl bask in my kindness, which made me feel so good and powerful. She smiled a little and was a little more cheerful. I felt like I gave her a million dollars.
Without your book, I would not be the person I am today. I would not feel good about helping my classmate become accepted. I would still be wary towards outcasts. Thank you for changing the way I look at life. Your book helped not only me and my attitudes, but also the "strange" kids who wanted to be themselves AND have friends.
Family Partnership Charter School, Anchorage, Alaska (home school)
Teacher/Parent: Nancy Meade