The main character of this book is Susan Caraway, but everyone knows her as Stargirl. Stargirl is about 16 years old. She is in 10th grade. Her hair is the color of sand and falls to her shoulders. A "sprinkle" of freckles crosses her nose. Mostly, she looked like a hundred other girls in school, except for two things. She didn't wear makeup and her eyes were bigger than anyone else's in the school. Also, she wore outrageous clothes. Normal for her was a long floor-brushing pioneer dress or skirt. Stargirl is definitely different. She's a fun loving, free-spirited girl who no one had ever met before. She was the friendliest person in school. She loves all people, even people who don't play for her school's team. She doesn't care what others think about her clothes or how she acts. The lesson that Stargirl learned was that you can't change who you are. If you change for someone else, you will only make yourself miserable. She also learned that the people who really care about you will like you for who you are. The people who truly love you won't ask you to change who you are.
The setting of the story is Mica Area High School in Arizona. The kids who attended this high school all wore the same clothes, talked the same way, ate the same food, and listened to the same music. They were pretty much identical to each another. The city had been built around an electronics business park. The city was only 15 years old. It was a town in the middle of the dessert where everyone's front yard was made up of stones and cactuses. This story could have taken place in another time because the issue that the main character, Stargirl, is dealing with is a timeless problem. People always have trouble accepting other people who are not like them. Not to mention that cliques and popularity in high schools have been since anyone can remember. We all need to belong, even Stargirl.