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Peer Work

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Erica's Letter to Jerry Spinelli
By Erica Veazey
Genre: Non-fiction Level: Junior 7-9
Year: 2007 Category: Letters About Literature

Dear Jerry Spinelli,

Being different, I thought, was not bad but not good at the same time.  I saw that people who were different had to put up with a lot of criticism.  "Why did she wear that ugly dress?"  "Why did she ask that stupid question?"  Those were just some comments other people made.  That told me enough.  I was definitely not going to be different.  I decided to be like everyone else; I wore jeans, and I had my hair in a pony tail.  Then I read Stargirl.

I did not understand her; she was a mystery to me.  Why would she be so different when she could just blend into the background?  Why did she wear long dresses?  Why was she always so happy?  Those were just a few of my many questions.  The one question that really bothered me was this, why did she act like water, letting her emotions reflect off of her for the world to see?  These questions bothered me so much I decided to find the answer.  I started to try and act a little like Stargirl.  What would I do if I were her?  I noticed I was happier when I played the Stargirl game.  I was happier and so were the people I was with.  Even the trees and sidewalks seemed to give me a smile when I passed.  It was then I knew I wanted to play the Stargirl game all the time.

Being different is not bad.  In fact I think it is just what the world needs:  new insights, ideas, and ways of thinking.  The world is like a big cookie with sprinkles.  The chocolate chips are not exactly the same but pretty close to it  There are, however, some chocolate chips that shine next to the stars reflecting the joy of living.  One of those chocolate chips is Stargirl.  Now I am one of the people I said I was not going to be.  I am different; I am a shining chocolate chip on the cookie of life.

"I drive by the exact same scenery every single day," I would say.  That tree - it was there yesterday.  Has anything changed?  I looked out the window at what was going on outside - nothing, as I saw it.  I was in the car when I noticed that Stargirl saw everything.  She noticed the painted door, the fillers, and the old men outside the grocery store.  She saw what everyday I missed.  Then, I realized how much I was missing.  There was so much going on outside.  Squirrels racing up trees, bears were eating berries, new trees were digging deep into the soil.  Everything I saw looked fresh and new.  The snow which fell a month ago looked as if it had just fallen.  I realized that I used to see in black and white, noticing only the big changes.  Now I see in color, watching my life before my eyes.

Life is precious, so make the most of it.  That is just one thing Stargirl taught me.  She taught me not to always rush, find your special place, be the rain, take the time to notice, be an individual.  Everyone says that real life experiences teach you the important lessons.  I say Stargirl does.

Sincerely,
Erica Veazey

7th Grade
Randy Smith Middle School, Fairbanks, Alaska
Teacher:  Jessica Westfall

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