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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School

4.4 41
by Alexandra Robbins

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In a smart, entertaining, reassuring book that reads like fiction, Alexandra Robbins manages to cross Gossip Girl with Freaks and Geeks and explain the fascinating psychology and science behind popularity and outcasthood. She reveals that the things that set students apart in high school are the things that help them stand out later in

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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
JohnLen More than 1 year ago
The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth is a compelling and well written novel that details the lives of different stereotypical teenagers through highschool. Labeled outsiders, losers, or geeks, these kids are greatly misunderstood and under appreciated. Alexandra Robbins focuses on seven different people in her novel; a loner, a new girl, a band geek, a gamer, a nerd, a popular girl, and a teacher. The first five characters bring to life the real challenges teenagers like them face in High School, and how far they may go to either become popular or remove themselves from the situation - recent events detail just such a thing. As a real highschool student, I believe Robbins successfully touches the lives of these teens, illustrating their endeavours to survive school. However, the inclusion of a popular girl and teacher are somewhat far from the main plotline and do not clearly fit into this novel, seeming to me like just a way to take up space. They add very little to the overall novel and distract the reader from the main theme. Robbins intended to clarify that both the popular kids face troubles, and so do teachers, but this novel does not call for such a thing. The five 'geeks' alone are very inspiring, Robbins clarifying for the need for individualism and freethinkers, much of what these teenagers are, and to encourage them to stay the way they are and to ensure them that their flaws today will be the desired characteristics of adult life. This novel criticizes the idea of conformity and 'fitting in' many high school students feel, ideas that can only hinder the progression of society and stop great people from appearing. As the title implies, the outcasts of High School may become the leaders of adulthood. Outside of this book, there are many movies and novels that express this same idea of individualism and creativity. I believe Robbins successfully brings this out to the reader, insuring any 'geeks' that it gets better, that High School is only four years of your life. I greatly recommend this book to others, especially those who may feel the same pressures as Robbins shows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book! It gives you a look inside high schools of today and what problems kids are still going through. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. Let your geek flag fly!
TaraVMurphy More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, though I couldn't relate to "Blue" and Reagan.  I think being gay is a different issue than geeks and nerds being outcast.  I was glad Whitney was included in the book.  Blue and Reagan should have been replaced with more of your typical geeks who are shunned, like Eli.  The book gives hope to those who aren't smooth enough to get into the popular crowd.  I finally gave up fitting in during my senior year of high school.  I should have done it sooner.  It makes you wonder how a small minority of the best looking students manage to take over the entire school and how are they considered popular when everyone else seems to be disgusted with them?  This book should be required reading for middle school students.  
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
I'm reading this and then the Steve Jobs book (for book club), pretty appropriate! :) I enjoyed the parts where the author was talking about the specific kids she followed, but didn't care for her commentary. I know that added to it and explained further what was going on with the kids, but got boring to me.
JJAA More than 1 year ago
“The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive after High School” by Alexandra Robbins is a fantastic read. Robbins fully grasps the concept of cafeteria fringe in the life of six students and a teacher. With a full analysis on each theory, Robbins describes with the utmost detail in explaining the presence of the quirk theory in high school. The novel flows smoothly as if reading a fiction book, as each of the people become characters in which the reader could connect to on a personal level. However, the only minor fault at hand might be within the analysis. Towards the end, Robbins does become slightly repetitive with the explanation, which might lead to the book becoming a slight drag in certain parts. Yet, the fully developed perspective of the people into their lives and the changes they undergo as assigned by the author definitely makes this book worthwhile! Another great view of this book is of the parents of these teenagers and how they affect much of the child’s behavior. This book also brings a slight attention to them at various points at what they are doing wrong and what they could improve on, making it a great read for parents too! Overall, “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, the Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School” is a must read for teenagers and parents with teenagers. It is easy to follow, easy to understand, and an enjoyable book to read! I highly recommend it to anyone who is part of the cafeteria fringe, struggles to fit in, or pushes aside others. This book has become one of my favorites!
CMC13 More than 1 year ago
The story, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, by Alexandra Robbins, was a great read, content wise, but as an actual high school student, some parts greatly confused me. Some of the stereotypes used by Ms. Robbins I have never even heard of and I have no clue who would be considered the queen bee at my high school. In fact, I consider myself lucky that there is no group at my high school that stands out as more popular than another, and that my school is mostly made of artistically or intellectually inclined students. However, it is quite possible that I am just completely oblivious to these stereotypes as I prefer reading and studying to socializing. Some of the content of the novel clarified a lot for me. It answered the question of why I care so much about other people’s opinions. The segment about drug use among high school students really amazed me. The only real problem I had with the novel is how it is organized. The book is based upon a study using five students, but halfway through the book, we learn that there are really only four students and the fifth individual is a teacher. The author was trying to show how some adults could act like teenagers, which she did quite nicely, but I then had to question if some of the other test subjects were teachers as well. I became so confused and started to question whether Danielle, one of the test subjects, was also a teacher because she started working with special education students. In addition, the book is based off a sort of time line with interjections of information, which makes the book interesting, but it becomes hard to retain the information. Not to mention, the author tends to repeat herself when she cannot render new information. I liked the book and I recommend it, especially if you go to high school or have a high school aged child, but be aware, there are flaws.
ptrain24 More than 1 year ago
When I first read this book, I was expecting it to only have high school students relate to her argument. Instead she immerses the reader in the lives and issues that teachers, parents and students deal with in the high school environment. She follows seven different individuals in one year of high school. She tries to appeal to every type of student in the high school community. She interviewed populars, loners, nerds, and even a discriminated teacher as they face the cruelty high schools can dish out at the individual. Alexandra Robbins uses psychological studies and experiences from students around the country to show that being unpopular in high is not the end of the world. She even gives examples of famous celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Steve Jobs who were treated badly in high school but ended up having great success in doing what they love. This novel boosted my self-esteem and definitely will for other students having social trouble in high school. She proves that the high school environment tries to make everyone conform to some set norm, and can even look down on students who try to show their individuality. But she does not stop there. She criticizes staff and administrators for being a part of the problem as well. Staff members create their own cliques at times and may even give benefits to athletics and popular cliques while taking away from sciences and arts and unpopular kids. She also advises parents on trying to make their own kids “normal” and smash their child’s self confidence in the process. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is a part of a high school community, as in the students, staff, and parents.
Abigail Marshall More than 1 year ago
Let's just say... I'm ten-year-old cafeteria fringe. Current label-nerd, may be freak in near future. That said, best book EVER and will provide sustenance to that amazing,awesome,nonconformist,freethinking,creative astonishingness known as THE CAFETERIA FRINGE! P.S. I am extremely mad at the Library Journal for saying, "Out of the cafeteria fringe, and on to meaningful experiences." Excuse me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! This implies that they a)left the CF and b)could only have those meaningful experiences after "moving on" from being CF. They remained themselves. They remained CF. They remained all those wondrous qualities described above. They just left their comfort zones and extended beyond their labels. Hear that? It's the sound of labels being ripped off. They left comfort zones to have those meaningful experiences,not CFhood. Sorry about that. Rant over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dug the students Robbins followed. I wanted to give them hugs and tell them they were cool.
EmilyA4213 More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down! I loved all the characters, especially Danielle and Mark, and thought the essays about popularity especially were just so interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Istari_The_Angel More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! As a geek and a bit of a fringe dweller myself in my school years, it was easy to relate to the kids in this book, and hearing from the psychologists and other experts on why certain types of kids tend to behave the way they do and how many of these were able to overcome and change their perspectives was interesting and gave some great insight into my school life and what to expect from students I work with now. The sources were well presented and the concept was clearly defined. An enjoyable book on so many levels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best nonfiction books I've read. Not only was it interesting to read, but I also learned many useful things that I have not knew about before. In the beginning, I did not like how each characters were divided into different sections because it made me feel a little confused, but later on it only made me feel like I know each of them and want to continue learning more about them. The challenges each of these characters had helped me learn useful things that can apply to my everyday life and appreciate the difficulties people have. Everyone in high school deals with the type of problems Robbins mentions in the piece, and it's fun to read because it can apply to everyone, even the teachers and parents. We have to admit that without all that high school drama, life would be boring. The best thing about the book are the lessons learned, it is all about acting freely and forget about the jealousy and fear. We are all so different from one another, but that's how we learn to love and accept each other. I feel a lot more confident with what I do and like. It made me realize that it's time to stop caring what others think and be friends with everyone. I will try to understand people and reach out to those that need help, and of course stop with the gossip and think positively. However I treat people, that's how they will treat me, even though there is always that someone that thinks differ. One way or another, I hope that many people read this book and do the same, but most of all discover the true meaning of the story. This book definitely deserves a five out of five stars.
JBean44 More than 1 year ago
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, written by Alexandra Robbins, depicts the lives of six high school students and an ostracized faculty member. The book begins with the author’s “quirk theory,” that popularity does not guarantee success in adulthood and unpopular students will be valued because of their quirks out of the high school setting. The author goes on to explain popularity, conformity, cliques, and student labels that pertain to the individuals she follows in the book. The students she follows in her book include a loner named Danielle, a band geek named Noah, a popular girl named Whitney, a new girl from Jamaica named Joy, a nerd named Eli, and an intense gamer named Blue. Robbins also follows Regan, a young teacher that deals with the same problems student face in high school. Robbins follows these individuals from across the United States for one full year. Right before winter, Robbins imposes a challenge for each of the individuals she follows. For some they must open themselves up to new people while others have to detach themselves from their current group of friends. Will the loner make friends or can the popular girl detach herself from the in-crowd? Read the book to find out. The book concludes with tips to help students in high school, concerned parents, and school administrators. Robbins writes with a sophisticated style and uses a copious amount of scientific experiments to back up her support and explanations. High school students should read this book so they do no feel the need to conform or change what makes them unique and different compared to other students. Robbins wants her audience to realize the importance of staying true to oneself when conforming may seem like the easier choice.
AnnaFluksova More than 1 year ago
"The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth" by Alexandra Robbins is a truely reviting account of the lives social outcasts in high school. I'm her very anti-conformist centered book, she captures the lives of several high school kids: the nerd, the geek, the popular girl, the new girl, the loner, the gamer, and the weird girl. Throughout her documentary of the teenager's lives, she argues against conformity amongst kids, in order to "fit in". In fact, she points out that the very characteristics we posess that make us different, will become the characteristics that become invaluable in our adult life. The author addresses the exsistance of groups or cliques, making the parts of the cafeteria their territories. She points out that bullying and exclusion have reached an all time high and despite the harm that it is causing our youth, the social norms dwindle even more, making more obvious those considered outcasts. She stresses the need for diversity among the youth and the ability to think for themselves. She even creates a task for each of the people interviewed to push them out of their comfort zone or their interpretation of the social norm, so they can identify with themselves as an individual. She continues to point out that the underlying cause of the conformity among the students is the school system. The children are handed standardized tests that do not adhere to their particular skills, completely ridding them of individualism. The same can be witnessed through the teachers, who do not teach to the rhythmn of the students minds, rather by the speed in order to cover the ciriculum within a certain amount of time. Overall, this is a very eye opening and diverse type of nonfiction book. No matter whether this is your ideal genre of writing or not, it is compelling. I recommend this to everyone, especially high school kids of today because everyone will benefit from the underlying message at hand: high school eventually ends, do not lose yourself in those hellish four years, because it will get better.
madisonpospisil More than 1 year ago
This book is a perfect example on how the school system needs adjustments in America. Alexandra Robbins is funny, and witty in her portrayal of the typical groups in school. This includes the geek, the nerd, the popular girl, the loner, the weird girl, the gamer, and the new girl. Robbins takes the reader on an adventure through each of these children’s lives. This includes the struggle each child has to go through when dealing with high school. Robbins also issues a challenge to each of these high school students that takes them out of their comfort zone, and lets them grown as individuals. Some of these challenges make the children, such as Danielle “the loner” to be able to meet and talk to more kids her own age. Danielle was particularly up to this challenge because she wanted to grow as a person, so she is not so socially awkward when she becomes and adult in the working world. This is just one example of how Robbins helps these children by helping them develop into more sociable people. This will continue with them their entire lives. Robbins also talks about her idea of quirk theory which Robbins says is the observation that many of the differences that lead children to exclude each other socially in school are the same characteristics or skills that other people will value and admire about those students in adulthood or outside school. This theory can be widely acceptable in most schools around the nation, and how administrators are only masking the problem, or creating a bigger problem, and not a solution. Robbins also talks about these solutions to these problems and how simple adjustments to the academic system can make a large improvement on most children’s lives. Robbins also states about how teachers today are just trying to get through the curriculum as fast as possible, and they are not catering to each individual child’s needs. Robbin says the children learn at a different pace, and that teacher just care about the class as a whole. This also has to do with the administrators and how they are only worried about test scores, and having the children conform to what the school believes to be the best for them. When in reality it is not, and the children are suffering because of the negligence of the administrative staff, and the teachers, who are pressured to meet the curriculum requirements. All in all this book takes the reader on an intelligent adventure inside the lives of the typical genre of American high school students.
mj95 More than 1 year ago
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School is a great book and it sends a great message. This book deals with the different types of people and groups in high school such as the geeks, nerds, loners, popular kids, and punks. The author, Alexandra Robbins, talks about popularity and different cliques in school. She also writes about different experiments that have been done on popularity and conformity. The author interviewed seven people (Eli, Blue, Noah, Regan, Whitney, Danielle, and Joy). They all attend different high schools and in this book we get to read about these people and their high school experiences. They are all from different cliques in high school and some of them are not part of any cliques. These students all face problems in high school and the author gives them challenges that could help them with these problems. It is interesting to see how they complete these challenges and what happens to them throughout high school. This book talks about how popularity does not make a person happy and it also encourages everyone to embrace their differences and not to conform. It talks about how the qualities that make us so different from other people may be considered “weird” in high school, but in adulthood these qualities help us stand out. The seven people that the author interviewed all had problems in high school and felt that they were very different from others. I think that many people, especially high school students, can relate to this book. This book tells us that we should embrace our differences because they help us stand out later in life. We should not have to change ourselves in order to fit in. This book is very inspiring and I would recommend it to anyone, especially high school students.
ezhoops701 More than 1 year ago
In her book The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, author Robbins dives back into fray of high school in order to discover the psychology of high school. In her following of 7 members of the cafeteria fringe, Robbins explores why cliques form, the bravery of non-conformists, as well as the reasoning behind quirk theory. This book has the capacity to change people’s lives by teaching them that being different is not a negative, that the very traits that cause students to be mocked in high school are greatly admired after graduation. Being a high school student myself, this book helped change my everyday world from a hectic gathering of unexplainable occurrences into a logical world where I understand those around me, despite the hated clique system. I recommend this book to everyone from students to teachers and parents, for it teaches us to take the path less travelled and to be true to ourselves. In following members of different cliques, including preps, nerds, loners, as well as using scientific research to support her claims, Robbins helps us remember that despite the labels we place upon ourselves and others in an attempt to categorize life around us, were all special and unique. I believe this book should be added to the curriculum of high schools around the globe to assist our generation in realizing the truly important things in life. I’m sure I speak for other who have read it but choose not to speak their mind when I say that this book is truly inspirational and reminds us all, whether we be a prep, a goth, nerd, or even a loner, that there is life after high school.
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