I like to dabble in young adult literature every so often, as it helps me stay sharp in the classroom with knowing what my students are reading. I endI like to dabble in young adult literature every so often, as it helps me stay sharp in the classroom with knowing what my students are reading. I end up reading a lot of the popular series, but occasionally I happen upon something else that catches my eye; in this case, the initial appeal for this novel, written as a series of confessional letters and journals written from the perspective of a female Grade 12 student with OCD, was that she makes a connection with The Big Lebowski that changes her life. Danielle's journey through her senior year at times feels a little tired, but that's probably more due to the overuse of this format of novel than to anything. Despite this, the story manages to still feel somewhat fresh because of Danielle's honesty and vulnerability, and it is at times laugh-out-loud hilarious. Overall, it's probably a novel that I wouldn't read again, but that I would recommend to the right person....more
I first read Everything Bad Is Good For You several years ago, and I remember really appreciating it at the time. I initially agreed with Steven JohnsI first read Everything Bad Is Good For You several years ago, and I remember really appreciating it at the time. I initially agreed with Steven Johnson's core thesis - that pop culture was actually advancing in intellectual development, rather than regressing - and I found that his book provided me with enough evidence to support that thesis. Johnson uses evidence from television, video games, the internet, and movies to explain his points, and he does so in a balanced, thorough manner, concluding his discussion with proof as to the truth of his thesis.
I recently decided to return to this book, and I found it just as - if not more - rewarding my second time through. I would even venture to say that this is a seminal work for culture vultures (like me), particularly in our quest to debunk some of the commonly held misconceptions about the supposed ways in which popular culture is "getting worse".
Johnson stumbles a bit as he approaches (or at least works around) the conversation about morality, and the book could have used more division of thoughts in terms of headings to make it a little easier to manage, but those are minor quibbles in the face of the benefits of the book. ...more
The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth is a must-read for high school educators and parents of teenagers. Robbins uses the narratives seven members of whatThe Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth is a must-read for high school educators and parents of teenagers. Robbins uses the narratives seven members of what she calls the "cafeteria fringe" (including a teacher) to provide her the opportunity to expound on her quirk theory, as well as to link her thoughts to various sociological and psychological observations on adolescent social development. The book echoes some of the same considerations as the 2008 documentary American Teen, which similarly examined the lives of students, but Robbins' thoughts are much more thorough. Perhaps the one shortcoming of the book is that some of the stories could have benefited from further resolution - ie. more information on how things turned out for them - but that can always be included in the paperback edition or on the website. Robbins has continued to establish herself as a leading voice in social journalism about young adults, and Geeks is a very valuable addition to the existing discussions of adolescent pop psychology....more