"Stargirl" is a Young Adult novel by the writer Jerry Spinelli that was published in the year 2000. Spinelli was already a celebrated children's author by the time the book was written and it met with critical success, being lauded for it's message of non-conformity. The novel revolves around a teenage boy named Leo … [Read more...] about Stargirl
Jerry Spinelli was born on February 1st, 1941 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The son of a typesetter, Spinelli's family lived in an apartment in front of a brewery for the first years of his life. When Spinelli was six years old, his family bought a house and moved to the other side of town. Spinelli grew up playing sports including basketball and baseball. When Spinelli was in high school, his family moved, and he found that his world shifted somewhat. He began writing to compensate, and his first piece was a poem about a big football game at his school that ended up being published in the local newspaper.
After this Spinelli decided that he wanted to become a writer. He graduated high school and went on to attend Gettysburg College, graduating with an A.B. (Artium Baccalaureatus) degree in 1963. He received a Masters of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and served in the Naval Reserve throughout the late 1960's.
In 1966, he began working as an editor and in 1977, he married his wife, Eileen Mesi who already had six children. After his novels for adults kept getting rejected, Spinelli began writing children's novels as he found that he was getting many ideas from his own children's antics.
He was first published in 1982 with the book "Space Station Seventh Grade" and has written over 30 children's and Young Adult novels in his lifetime. Some of his more popular novels are "Manic Magee" (for which he won one of the most prestigious children's literature awards, the Newbery Medal in 1991 and the Children's Editor's Choice Award in 1991), Wringer (for which he was nominated for a Newbery Award in 1997) and "Stargirl" (2000).
Spinelli regularly collaborates with his wife, who is also a children's writer on picture books for kids. They have six children and twenty-one grandchildren and currently live in Pennsylvania.