- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition first Printing edition (May 3, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401302025
- ISBN-13: 978-1401302023
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School Hardcover – May 3, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Robbins follows her previous book, The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kids, with this insightful and timely look at the current state of America's teenage wasteland commonly known as "high school." Robbins follows the lives of seven students across the nation with very different and unique personalities—from "the gamer" and "the band geek" to "the popular bitch" and "the new girl"—as well as interviewing hundreds of other students, teachers, and counselors from a range of public, private, urban, rural, technical, college prep, and arts schools to prove what she calls her "Quirk Theory:" that "Many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the identical traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside of the school setting." Robbins's keen eye shows us how the eternal adolescent struggle between individuality and inclusion lures many students—and teachers—into a mindless "groupthink" about what is conventionally popular and acceptable behavior. At the same time, she shows how the qualities that set her subjects apart from their classmates are the same qualities that make them stand out in positive ways. She ends with an effective list of tips for parents, teachers, students, and schools on how to support and encourage students who value "original thought and expression." (May)
Insightful and timely...Robbins' keen eye shows...how the qualities that set her subjects apart [also] make them stand out in positive ways. She ends with an effective list of tips for parents, teachers, students, and schools. --Publishers Weekly
An excellent overview of the complex social environment of high school, told in an accessible and often humorous and touching manner...Very highly recommended. --Library Journal Starred Review
Offers real hope to adolescents... The author has a gift for writing fact like fiction...and the students and their stories are thoroughly engaging... These stories are not just entertaining but important.
A fascinating read, and an important one for parents. I highly recommend this book.
Required reading for anyone who has ever felt left out...or misunderstood. Schools everywhere would do well to incorporate it into their curriculum.. Robbins' ode to the cafeteria fringe will have you laughing, cheering, shocked.
Top customer reviews
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Robbins was moved to write the book after seeing the effects of bullying on youth (in worst cases leading to suicide or school shootings) and also seeing how the tables turned after school (with life often getting better for school outsiders). She claims that parents often tell their kids it gets better but they don't tell them why that is the case. That is where "The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth" comes to rescue and she presents her main idea of "Quirk Theroy" comes to play to explain why.
Quirk Theory, according to Robbins, is the idea that many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the same traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside of the school setting. So basically while these traits hurt a student and their social status in the closed of, conformist school culture they often lead them to great things outside of said environment. Meanwhile the traits that make people popular have quite the opposite effect as the drift of into the background while the outsiders thrive in the real world.
Throughout the book Robbins follows different students (who for the most part are considered outsiders) in their struggles in school. Along with that she present her ideas and research on the in's and out's of quirk theory, outsiders, popularity, clique warfare, exclusion and more.
The only real shortcomings I found where that the book is a bit long and I also wish that she spent more time on the ideas/life lessons of the book rather than the personal accounts of the people. Also of course the theory is not 100% true. There's popular people who become massive successful and non popular people who don't but those people are outliers and overall what Robbins says is true most of the time.
Overall I enjoyed the book and all the way through it light bubles were going off in my head. Like "that's why that happnend" and "that's why things are the way they are". Most importantly the book really acted a as light at the end of the tunnel for me, and likely many others. Many people, especially those that are different, endured rough childhoods because of the way our schools are set up and even just becasuse humans are natural conformist/anti outsider social creatures. Knowing that their isn't actually anything wrong with you, actually quite the opposite their is many things right with you, gives people a much needed breath of fresh air and confidence boost.
This book was one of the most imporant books I ever read in my life, quite literally helped save my life and really helped me get that inner self confidence and self worth that helped me relize my full potential. I wish I had read this in kindergarten, my life would have gotten better a lot sooner. In fact every child should have to read this book.
I would recommend you check out the short paradoy video "It Doesn't Get Better" which speaks to the core concept in this book. Also the article "Why Nerds Are Unpopular" is a good read.
5/5 Stars! Buy it, you won't regret it.
I am an educator of 26 years and a high school assistant principal. The information I have gotten from this book has certainly helped me to look at my student population in a totally, new light. Not only does Robbins examine the labels that students assign themselves and others and the harm it causes but "The Geeks" also looks at the way that the faculty that educates them treat students and each other. I had never thought of the way that faculty groups mirror the groups of students.
Also, it was an eye opener to think that the influence of the media has caused "mean girls" to be mean, as a way of protecting themselves. We often misunderstand and think that they mistreat other kids because they enjoy it. The fact is that many of these young ladies don't enjoy it at all but the influence of shows such as "Gossip Girl" and "90210," make it "cool" to be mistreat others. It is hard to believe that many students who are viewed as being a part of the "Popular Crowd" are truly miserable but lack the courage to leave for fear of rejection.
Thanks again to Alexandra Robbins for a fantastic read!!!
This book reads, in parts, like a YA novel -- which will make it appealing to teens as well as their parents. But there's just enough legitimate psychological studies and jargon to keep the grown-ups happy. It also has some surprises, one in particular which should be very interesting for any educators who are reading this book (I'm not going to spoil it for you!). What I particularly loved is how Robbins provides some concrete steps we can all take to help "fringe" kids navigate the high school experience without losing their souls or motivation. I also really enjoyed getting to know each "case study" and was excited to find I can track their continued development via the book's Facebook page. One of the bigger surprises for me is that private schools (single sex or otherwise) with a uniform policy have no less chance of growing cliques and bullies than public schools. Yeah, I know this stuff goes on any place where teens gather in mass quantities...but I'd assumed some private schools, especially those with smaller class sizes, would have better luck working with kids and breaking down the social BS than their public counterparts. Apparently not.
If you know (or are) a kid who doesn't easily fit in with the popular crowd (or any crowd, for that matter)...PLEASE read this book. It's highly likely you will find yourself in these pages...and even if you don't, you'll find yourself rooting for each of these young men and women to make it through high school and transform into the fabulous adults I know they will be.
Most recent customer reviews
Robbins follows seven teenagers throughout a school year, challenging them halfway through to step outside their comfort zones.Read more