Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 23, 2015

Kudos: ‘Stargirl’ Movie Nabs The ‘Twilight’ Director & Give-away

stargirlAs most of you know, I’ve been Jerry Spinelli’s webmaster for the last 12 years. It’s been a fun journey with Jerry and Eileen (her webmaster, too). I’ve read and enjoyed all their award winning books (which is all of them).

I have always been amazed at the love readers have for Stargirl. Everyone sees a little bit of Stargirl in themelves. Even 55 year old women have written Jerry telling him how much they appreciated the book and how it helped validate their time in high school.

But now, we have gone to the next level. The movie rights were sold years ago, but last week Variety announced that ‘Twilight’s’ Catherine Hardwicke is on board to direct an adaptation of the bestselling YA novel “Stargirl.”

When Jerry told me about how Eileen and him drove up New York City to convene “Team Stargirl” with producers and publishers around a big table at Random House. The first thing I thought of was Jerry’s story about how he got his first book contract.

He had won a night with George Plimpton from a PBS auction, so Jerry made sure he took his manuscript and Eileen and him drove up to NYC to meet at George and his wife at his Manhatton Apartment. The first thing George said to Jerry was, “Okay, where’s the manuscript.” I guess he was used to people wanting him to look at their work. George took Jerry and Eileen to Sardi’s for dinner, which was a favorite spot for publishers and editors at the time and introduced him around. He even met Woody Allen, but most importantly he met the future editor of his first book, Space Station Seventh Grade published by Little, Brown BFYR in 1982. The rest is history. I thought of that story when I heard from Jerry and Eileen about the movie. I felt that Jerry had now come full circle, but actually it’s more like a spiral, an upward spiral.


Catherine Hardwicke Director of Stargirl

Kristin Hahn has adapted Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl and will produce the film, along with Gotham Group and BCDF Pictures. BCDF is financing the movie with plans to start filming in New Mexico in October.

Sources tell Variety that Hardwicke was quick to sign on for the project after reading Hahn’s script.

First published in 2000 by Random House, the critically acclaimed Stargirl story follows a homeschooled teen who enrolls in an Arizona high school, altering the ecosystem of the student body with her nonconformity.

“This is one of those stories and characters that stir your imagination and steal your heart and just stick with you forever. I am thrilled to have the chance to adapt this beloved novel and I can’t imagine anyone more uniquely equipped to bring this story to life than Catherine Hardwicke, a Stargirl in her own right,” Hahn said.


Jerry Spinelli author of Stargirl

The New York Times in a review said it was a simple but poignant and enduring story. “a poetic allegorical tale about the magnificence and rarity of true nonconformity.” And while I love the post-apocalyptic themes that ring through many young adult series that are adapted to screen — The Hunger Games, Divergent — it’s the ringing reality of Stargirl that makes it so brilliant. At times the book can be harsh, and I think that’s what makes it great; that Spinelli doesn’t try to romanticize the utter pain of being a teenager.


To celebrate this wonderful news, Jerry has agreed to provide an autographed book of Stargirl to winner of this Book Give-Away. Want to win? Leave a comment. Want to increase you chances? Then reblog, talk about and provide a link to this post on facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, but remember to let me know how many things you did so I put in the proper amount of tickets with your name on them in the basket.

You have until next Thursday to spread the word, before I put all the name in my basket and pull the winner.

If you haven’t read Stargirl, you should run out and get it. It was dominated by Entertainment Weekly as one of the best YA’s of all time, plus you will zip through the book.

PS: I have probably butchered Jerry’s story, which he has told the story at many conferences. Believe me, nothing is better than hearing it told by Jerry. I made editorial cuts.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Good morning! What a great post, thanks for sharing. Speaking of which, I tweeted! Thanks for the opportunity to win a signed copy.

  2. My daughter and I are HUGE Stargirl fans, both of the Book and the AudioBook! We have been waiting for this news, and strangely enough, was even going to e-mail Jerry asking about a movie. That book just cries out for a movie. We picture Taylor Swift as Stargirl, Morgan Freeman as Archie and Eden Sher as Dory Dilson. We aren’t sure about Leo, but can’t wait to see who they cast in all those fabulous roles!!! Would love to get an autographed copy of this timeless book!

  3. Jerry was the keynote speaker at one of our WPA SCBWI conferences, and he was very inspiring and encouraging about the long road to publication. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I will tweet, which will post to my facebook. Thanks for having such a great blog for kids’ writers.

    • Sabrina,

      Congratulations! You just won the signed copy of Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl, but I need your address. Couldn’t find your email.

      Talk soon,


  4. Love an autographed copy! Lol. This is SO cool news! Kudos is RIGHT!

  5. Great news. Such a great novel. We need more movies like these for teens.

  6. Stargirl sounds like a great read for adults, too! The author’s journey is a dream come true!

  7. Loved STARGIRL and thrilled to see it coming to the big screen!

  8. Can’t wait to meet Stargirl on the big screen. I agree, it’s a a great read for adults too, and ought to bring in a huge audience for the movie.

  9. Wonderful news! An an autographed copy of the book – even more wonderful!

  10. What exciting news! I already have my copy of Stargirl so good luck to everyone else.

  11. Isn’t it great to see people we know having movies made about their books! Congrats to Jerry!

  12. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    This post was too good to not pass around. Kudos to Jerry Spinelli!

  13. Love those type of stories, how exciting! Looking forward to the movie. Will share on Facebook 🙂

  14. I was fortunate enough to meet Jerry and Eileen at a Highlights workshop. Wonderful writers and even more wonderful people! Now that’s a movie adaptation I’ll make sure to see.

  15. Jerry Spinelli spoke at our library last month (he is a “local”) and talked about Stargirl possibly becoming a movie. Someone here mentioned Taylor Swift. I think you’re not too far off. He mentioned she might have been a contender (at one point) — I guess making Stargirl into a movie has been in the works for quite a while. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.

  16. Thanks for the super post. This was my first time hearing the publishing story which is great! Stargirl is a favorite in our house.

  17. I only have Jerry’s “Knots in a Yo-yo String”, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Would love to add “Stargirl” to the library!

  18. This is such great news. I loved Stargirl and all things Spinelli!

  19. but since I just won a book off your blog, no need to put my name in…although an autographed copy is tempting!

  20. Hi-Thank you for sharing Jerry Spinelli’s awesome news! I am going to my public library’s site right now and requesting Stargirl! Thank you, too, for the chance to win an autographed copy of the book:)

  21. STARGIRL was a fun read out loud for us when I homeschooled my kids!

  22. Awesome! Thanks for sharing the good news, Kathy!

  23. Can’t wait to see this book on the big screen. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book too.

  24. Very exciting news! I’d sure love to win that book, too! Thanks for the chance.

  25. Wow! I look forward to the movie. Saw a fantastic play adaptation of Stargirl at People’s Light & Theater in Pennsylvania, so I’m eager to see the movie.

  26. I shared on twitter, thanks! @lindsayfouts

  27. Would love an autographed copy of Stargirl. How exciting to see one’s book made into a movie! 🙂

  28. Stargirl should get her own Hollywood star set in the sidewalk. My favorite scene was when she tries to teach Leo to meditate in the desert. I would love to have a signed copy since the one I read was on loan from a friend. Super happy for Jerry and Eileen. I’ll also share your good-news post on FB 🙂 Can’t wait to see this book come to the big screen.

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