11 Books to Read if You Loved Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Calling all free spirits! Before you watch the Disney+ adaptation of Jerry Spinelli’s modern YA classic Stargirl, you need to read or reread the book. It’s easy to see why this story about an introverted boy who falls in love with a free-spirited girl is so popular. With themes of nonconformity, first love, and the ups and downs of high school, this highly readable novel resonates with everyone who picks it up.

If you love the book and the movie, you’ll want to add these other books to your TBR. Whether you’re in the mood for a heartfelt romance or a tear-jerking story about misfits, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re in the mood for a quirky romance, read What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum.

What to Say Next

What to Say Next

By Julie Buxbaum

There’s nothing better than a quirky YA romance, and What to Say Next tips the adorkable meter off the charts. If you enjoyed watching Leo fall for the odd and unpredictable Stargirl, then Kit and David’s romance will have you grinning from ear to ear. When you’re in the mood for a feel-good romance that will have you shipping the main characters, pick this one up! You won’t regret it.

If you want a story about finding yourself, read Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart.

Scars Like Wings

Scars Like Wings

By Erin Stewart

Like Stargirl, Ava doesn’t fit in. Everywhere she goes, people stop and stare. As a burn survivor, Ava’s scars are visible to everyone—the ones on the outside, at least. It isn’t until Ava meets another survivor named Piper that she starts to feel like herself again. If you like books about misfits finding their place in the world, don’t miss out on this heartfelt story!

If you’d prefer a book about the pressures of high school, read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

All the Bright Places Movie Tie-In Edition

All the Bright Places Movie Tie-In Edition

By Jennifer Niven

In Stargirl, Leo feels overwhelming pressure to be “normal,” and even asks Stargirl to conform as well. All the Bright Places is another story that tackles the pressure on high school students to fit in (among other issues). If you were fascinated and horrified by the peer pressure in Stargirl, binge-read this book, and then fall in love with the story all over again in the new Netflix movie.

If you’re looking for a book about friendships gone wrong, read When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk.

When You Were Everything

When You Were Everything

By Ashley Woodfolk

Surviving high school is no easy feat, and it’s necessary to have a few good friends to make it through. But what happens when you and your bestie break up? Like Stargirl, Cleo discovers that small misunderstandings can snowball until they ruin everything. As she moves forward and makes new friends, Cleo learns to forgive herself and appreciate the chance that a new beginning gives her.

If you like the sound of a story about two friends with a TV show, read Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner.

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee

By Jeff Zentner

If you loved the Hot Seat scenes in Stargirl, you need to have Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee on your TBR. Two girls with a local cable show dream big, make tough decisions, and plan for their futures. This fun and insightful contemporary novel will keep you happily turning pages for hours.

If you want a heartfelt romance told from a boy’s perspective, read A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door

A Short History of the Girl Next Door

By Jared Reck

There aren’t a lot of YA romance novels written from the point of view of a teenage boy. If you enjoyed the point of view in Stargirl, then you’ll also like A Short History of the Girl Next Door. You’ll recognize the similar themes of friendship, basketball, and first love. However, unlike Stargirl, you will need a tissue (or twenty) to get through this novel. You’ve been warned.

If you need a story about looking on the bright side of life, read Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin.

Crying Laughing

Crying Laughing

By Lance Rubin

Stargirl always tries to keep her chin up. In Crying Laughing, Winnie learns to do the same when her father receives a life-altering diagnosis. Even though nothing in her life seems to be working out, Winnie tries to keep smiling through it all. You’ll love this book about finding humor in the best and the worst of times.

Searching for a story about speaking up? Read Color Me In by Natasha Díaz.

Color Me In

Color Me In

By Natasha Díaz

Like Leo in Stargirl, Nevaeh has a hard time speaking up, even when she knows she should. As a biracial girl torn between the worlds of her parents, she initially goes along with everything they decide. But as she finds her voice, Nevaeh starts to speak up and speak out about what she really wants.

If you want to be inspired by book about girls who change the world, read Girl Rising by Tanya Lee Stone.

Girl Rising

Girl Rising

By Tanya Lee Stone

Stargirl is sincere and relentless in her efforts to change the world, one person at a time. If you want to read about real girls who accomplish great things when given the opportunity, pick up Girl Rising. This nonfiction book profiles dozens of girls around the world as they fight for education, equality, and the chance to make a difference.

If you’re in the mood for a book about staying true to yourself, read I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

By Erika L. Sánchez

After the death of her older sister, Julia is left alone with the crushing expectations of her family. But Julia has never been perfect like her sister was. No matter how hard she tries, it seems like she will always be a disappointment. Like Stargirl, Julia learns that perfection is a myth and the most important thing is to stay true to yourself.

If you want a story about opposites attracting, read 10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac.

10 Things I Can See From Here

10 Things I Can See From Here

By Carrie Mac

Just like Leo and Stargirl, Maeve and Salix are complete opposites and don’t seem well matched at first. Maeve deals with crushing anxiety while Salix isn’t afraid of anything. These two girls meet, fall in love, and challenge each other in new ways. As it turns out, each girl is exactly what the other one needs.

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