author

Jerry Spinelli Quotes

35 of the best book quotes from Jerry Spinelli
01
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“My name is something I wear, like a shirt. It gets worn, I outgrow it, I change it.”
Jerry Spinelli
author
Stargirl
book
Stargirl (Susan Caraway)
character
change
identity
names
growth
flexibility
concepts
02
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“I had never realized how much I needed the attention of others to confirm my own presence.”
03
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“I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl . . .I see. I hear. But not with eyes and ears. I’m not outside my world anymore, and I’m not really inside it either. The thing is, there’s no difference between me and the universe. The boundary is gone. I am it and it is me. I am a stone, a cactus thorn. I am rain. I like that most of all, being rain.”
04
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“The earth is speaking to us, but we can’t hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then–maybe-the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.”
05
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“Hillari Kimble walked up to Stargirl and said, ‘You ruin everything.’ And she slapped her. The crowd grew instantly still. The two girls stood facing each other for a long minute. Those nearby saw in Hillari’s shoulders and eyes a flinching: she was waiting to be struck in reply. And in fact, when Stargirl finally moved, Hillari winced and shut her eyes. But it was lips that touched her, not the palm of a hand. Stargirl kissed her gently on the cheek. She was gone by the time Hillari opened her eyes.”
06
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“In that moonlit hours, I acquired a sense of the otherness of things. I liked the feeling the moonlight gave me, as if it wasn’t the opposite of day, but its underside, its private side, when the fabulous purred on my snow-white sheet like some dark cat come in from the desert.”
07
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“When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light.”
08
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“She was not truly a cheerleader, but Stargirl dressed like one.”
09
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We wanted to define her, to wrap her up as we did each other, but we could not seem to get past “weird” and “strange” and “goofy.” Her ways knocked us off balance.”
10
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“She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was . . .”
11
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″She was different. Different. We had no one to compare her to, no one to measure her against. She was unknown territory. Unsafe. We were afraid to get too close.”
12
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″There’s a place we all inhabit, but we don’t much think about it . . . We are untitled, untamed, natural, suspended between was and will be . . . We are, for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then . . . we become ourselves.″
13
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“Ironically, as we discovered and distinguished ourselves, a new collective came into being—a vitality, a presence, a spirit that had not been there before.”
14
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″Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know.″
15
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“She did not seem to notice. Of all the unusual features of Stargirl, this struck me as the most remarkable. Bad things did not stick to her. Correction: her bad things did not stick to her. Our bad things stuck very much to her . . . All of her feelings, all of her attentions flowed outward. She had no ego.”
16
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“The family section ran a regular feature about kids on their birthdays, and my mother had called in some info. The last sentence read: ‘As a hobby, Leo Borlock collects porcupine neckties.‘”
17
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″‘I’ll tell you one thing,’ Kevin said as we joined the mob in the hallways, ‘she better be fake.’ I asked him what he meant. ‘I mean if she’s real, she’s in big trouble. How long do you think somebody who’s really like that is going to last around here?‘”
18
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“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”
19
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“Her smile put the sunflower to shame.”
20
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″She is one of us. Most decidedly. She is us more than we are us. She is, I think, who we really are. Or were.″
21
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″I think every once in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we’re made of.″
22
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“So I . . . watched the once amorphous student body separate itself into hundreds of individuals. The pronoun ‘we’ itself seemed to crack and drift apart into pieces.”
23
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“You’ll know her more by your questions than by her answers.”
24
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″‘She’s not real,’ Hillari said. She was sneering. ‘She’s an actress. It’s a scam.‘”
25
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“He knew that finally, truly, at long last, someone was calling him home.”
26
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“Dead silence along the street. The kid had done the unthinkable, he had chomped on one of Mars’s own bars. Not only that, but white kids just didn’t put their mouths where black kids had had theirs, be it soda bottles, spoons, or candy bars. And the kid hadn’t even gone for the unused end; he had chomped right over Mars Bar’s own bite marks.”
27
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“Maniac smiled. “We can fix it.” The way he said it, she believed. “Want to come to my house?” she said. “Sure,” he said.”
28
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“I am not asking you. I’m telling you. You are coming home with me, and you are going to sleep in my room, which is going to be your room—and I don’t care if you sleep on the floor or the windowsill or what—but you are going to sleep there and not here.”
29
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“Maniac felt why more than he knew why. It had to do with homes and families and schools, and how a school seems sort of like a big home, but only a day home, because then it empties out; and you can’t stay there at night because it’s not really a home and you could never use it as your address, because an address is where you stay at night, where you walk right in the front door without knocking, where everybody talks to each other and uses the same toaster. So all the other kids would be heading for their homes, their night homes, each of them, hundreds, flocking from school like birds form a tree, scattering across town, each breaking off to his or her own place, each knowing exactly where to land. School. Home. No, he was not going to have one without the other. ”
30
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“Maniac told him the story of his parents’ death. He told about his problem with the trestle, how he had learned to avoid it. “And then, all of a sudden, there I was, on the platform, looking out at it, closer to it than I ever was before, up on the same level. I always saw it from below before. Now I was up there, too, where they were, looking down, and it was more real than ever. The nightmare was worse than ever. I saw the trolley coming ... I saw it...f-falling...them...them...” They walked in silence past the silo-shaped cage of the broken-winged golden eagle. Mars Bar swallowed hard. His voice was hoarse. ‘I knew you wasn’t scared.″
31
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“But the voice of the buffalo was the voice of Amanda Beale, and its teeth were her fingers pulling and wrenching his poor ear till he was sitting upright.”
32
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“When he wasn’t reading, he was wandering. When most people wander, they walk. Maniac Magee ran. Around town, around the nearby townships, always carrying the book, keeping it in perfect condition.”
33
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“Out-numbered, out-weighed, but not out-hearted. That’s when Maniac felt it—pride, for this East End warrior whom Maniac could feel trembling in his arms, scared as any normal kid would be, but not showing it to them. Yeah, you’re bad all right, Mars Bar. You’re more than bad. You’re good. ”
34
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“If anybody could survive on the loose, it would be this kid who showed up from Hollidaysburg. Who slept on floors. Who outran dogs.”
35
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″‘If you try to make me,’ he said, ‘I’ll just start running.‘”

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