Jen Meegan's Reviews > The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins
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's review
Jun 20, 2012

it was amazing

I have two young children who are nowhere near high school age. But considering both their parents were "kids on the fringe", there is a pretty strong chance neither of them will become part of the mainstream crowd when they hit their teens. And we're ok with that because, as this book so eloquently points out, the less popular kids are typically the ones who have the most success as adults. This is a truism I've seen over and over again in my own life and with my adult peers. Think about many of the popular kids at your high school ended up leading fascinating and fulfilling lives? Perhaps a few...but, if your experience is anything like my own, not many. Why is this? As "The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth" points out, the traits that make a kid stand out from the crowd during high school are precisely what allows them to thrive when they hit the college years and beyond.

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.

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