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Stirling Howard is the close friend of Kit Kittredge.

Personality and Facts[]

Stirling is a small boy the same age and grade level as Kit and Ruthie. He is the only child of his mother Louise Howard and Mr. Howard. He is small, short, and slight for his age with fair skin, pale blond hair, pale gray eyes that are frequently watery, and a low husky voice. He is small for his age because he has delicate health, and to Kit he looks like he has skinny legs and a head too big for his thin neck.

He first appears in Meet Kit when he and Louise move into Kit's house, after they must leave their own house. Kit initially thinks he's a a timid child who is constantly sheltered under his mother's wing due to his extreme allergies and illnesses. However, Kit and Ruthie soon discover that he has many similar interests and he becomes more independent from his mother. He hides surprising strength emotionally; he hides that his father is likely not to return from his mother at first, and pretends that the money he gives her for rent came from his father. Stirling is an excellent artist and frequently adds drawings to Kit's homemade newspapers. Stirling is a fellow fan of the Cincinnati Reds and the Schnozz (Ernie Lombardi) like Kit. He's also crafty at quiet revenge; when Roger is taunting him and Kit for living in the same house, Sterling sneaks paper feathers onto a stool that Roger sits down on, gluing them to the back of his pants.

In The Books[]

Meet Kit: An American Girl[]

Stirling is mentioned before he is seen; Louise says they'll be moving to Chicago to follow his father. Kit is excited about having a boy move in, and tries to impress him with her baseball mitt and copy of Robin Hood and His Adventures. She is disappointed to see his appearance and says he's a "shrimp." He does not help unload the cab when they arrive, and only when prompted does he shake Margaret's hand and nod at Kit and Ruthie; his nose is red and runny. Louise then says the excitement isn't good and she and Margaret hustle him inside.

His first few days, he never speaks; Louise does, often about what he can't do. When Kit and Ruthie offer for him to run in the sprinkler, Louise says Sterling can't because his skin is too fair for the sun, running is bad for his weak lungs, getting wet might mean he'd catch a chill, and he can't play in the yard since he's allergic to bees.

MeetKit6

Stirling gives Kit a tack to put a picture up in her new attic room.

A week after the Howards arrive, Stirling gets very sick, with a fever and severe cough; his mother makes him stay in bed and have all his meals brought to him. He can be heard coughing, sniffling, and blowing his nose all day. Kit finally gets to speak to him one-on-one one afternoon when the door to the guest room is open; he is propped up on the pillows in the dark room. He nods when Kit offers to open the window, and then replies to say "Snozz" when Kit notices his picture of Ernie Lombardi. He then blows his nose in response to her pointing out Lombardi's nickname. He proceeds to tell Kit facts about him, and says he likes Lombardi because he's so big (and Stirling is so small). He nods when Kit says she has an article of Lombardi holding and offers to show it to him; this results in her hitting his mother with the door and the ensuing mess. Kit blames him mostly for the incident, thinking he's more responsible for things than her by being sick, and that she won't be nice to him anymore, calling him "old sniffle nose."

After Charlie explains why things are hard right now--and thus not fair, and the risk they're in--the Howards are among the people Kit thinks about as things not being fair for. When Margaret says that they'll be taking in boarders now, Kit brings up the possibility of the Howards moving out, only to hear they'll be paying guests and will move into Kit's room as boarders with her moving to the attic.

Kit is up in the attic, about to cry, when Stirling comes up the stairs bringing stuff from her room; it includes the picture of Lombardi, now smoothed out from where it was crumpled, and a tack. He says she can put the picture up anywhere she wants in the attic, then heads back downstairs. Kit is cheered by this, and this helps motivate her to redesign the attic into her own space.

Kit Learns a Lesson: A School Story[]

Kit's Surprise: A Christmas Story[]

Happy Birthday, Kit!: A Springtime Story[]

Kit Saves The Day: A Summer Story[]

Stirling has surprised everyone by getting a job selling newspapers on the corner. He is now more sturdy and sure of himself; Kit thinks it's because he's earning money with a real job.

Stirling crosses the lawn as Kit is beating a rug hard, saying if the broom was a bat and the rug a ball it would have been a home run. When Kit grumbles, he stands and waits for her to explain why she's so grumpy; after she explains by showing Charlie's letter, he suggests they go write a newspaper for him but Kit complains that she can't because of the chores.

Changes for Kit: A Winter Story[]

Kit's Home Run[]

It is mentioned again that Stirling has gotten a job selling newspapers; it is also clarified that this is the only money the Howards have as income.

Kit's Tree House[]

Kit's Winning Ways[]

Kit Uses Her Head[]

Really Truly Ruthie[]

Danger at the Zoo[]

A Thief in the Theater[]

Missing Grace[]

Intruders at Rivermead Manor[]

The Jazzman's Trumpet[]

Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit[]

In Kit Kittredge: An American Girl[]

Sterling's full name is stated in the movie as Stirling Howard IV, implying that his father's name is also Sterling.

He is played by Zach Mills.

References[]

  1. This is only stated in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.
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