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

Extended Audio Sample The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive after High School Audiobook, by Alexandra Robbins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,768 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexandra Robbins Narrator: Kathleen McInerney Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781401326081
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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 life.

Robbins follows seven real people grappling with the uncertainties of high school social life, including:

  • The loner, who has withdrawn from classmates since they persuaded her to unwittingly join her own hate club
  • The popular bitch, a cheerleading captain both seduced by and trapped within her clique’s perceived prestige
  • The nerd, whose differences cause students to laugh at him and his mother to needle him for not being “normal”
  • The new girl, determined to stay positive as classmates harass her for her mannerisms and target her because of her race
  • The gamer, an underachiever in danger of not graduating, despite his intellect and his yearning to connect with other students
  • The weird girl, who battles discrimination and gossipy politics in school but leads a joyous life outside of it
  • The band geek, who is alternately branded too serious and too emo, yet annually runs for class president

In the middle of the year, Robbins surprises her subjects with a secret challenge—experiments that force them to change how classmates see them.

Robbins intertwines these narratives—often triumphant, occasionally heartbreaking, and always captivating—with essays exploring subjects like the secrets of popularity, being excluded doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, why outsiders succeed, how schools make the social scene worse—and how to fix it.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is not just essential reading for students, teachers, parents, and anyone who deals with teenagers, but for all of us, because at some point in our lives we’ve all been on the outside looking in.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] insightful and timely look at the current state of America’s teenage wasteland commonly known as ‘high school.’”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Their stories beautifully demonstrate things we know intrinsically: that being popular is not always the same as being liked, that high school is more rigid and conformist than the military, and that the people who are excluded and bullied for their offbeat passions and refusal to conform are often the ones who are embraced and lauded for those very qualities in college and beyond.”

    New York Times

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christy | 2/16/2014

    " Lacks substance and factual content. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 2/15/2014

    " The author follows about 6 different students and a teacher throughout the country for a year who fit various "cafeteria fringe" sub-groups: loner, nerd, band geek, popular, etc. Through telling their stories - she supplements their stories with research and anecdotal evidence to support her threories about the ups and downs of high school social life. I found this book to be very interesting and engaging. The only thing that bothered me a little was how the "evidence" she used to support her theories were not particularly strong- so it made me wonder if she was just cherry-picking the information out there. She does make compelling arguments for why being "popular" isn't necessarily desirable but the main theme is how the "outsiders" of high school have a lot to contribute to the world and the reasons why they tend to do very well beyond high school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Burri | 2/12/2014

    " Spot on observational book about outsiders and the trials they face during high school. She nailed the bullying behavior, including the exposure of reasons why schools are not addressing the real issues (b/c the teachers are modeling the behavior for the kids). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ernest | 2/9/2014

    " The portrayal you see in movies of geeks and nerds vs the jocks and cheerleaders are true. This books looks at the outsiders in the US school system and how being in groups and being popular is not as good as it seems. A good book for those growing up and also for their parents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/20/2014

    " This is one of the few books that I recommend that every single person read. It is a very well written and thoroughly researched book about the dog-eat-dog world of high school's social ladder. It really opens your eyes to the problems and advantages of many different classes of popularity. READ IT! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 E | 1/10/2014

    " boo hoo. I was so excited to read this. yet the author is just going through over and over again different profiles of "excluded" case studies and not saying why or what the end result is. Great topic - poorly executed. I hope I make it to the end. maybe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 12/17/2013

    " I loved all the interviews interwoven into this book as several different stories. I love that this book tells it like it is. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Réka Felleg | 6/4/2013

    " It think this is a very important topic. Still, I couldn't finish this book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe Brian | 8/2/2012

    " This is a book that ALL high school students should read. Adults in and outside the school system should read it as well in order to understand what we go through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 9/18/2011

    " This was a slow read, but good! I'm thinking of using excerpts or chapters in the classroom... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrienne | 7/10/2011

    " An enjoyable read. The psychology of cliques aand outsiders was nicely embedded in personal accounts of several real students. I never struggled to belong like these kids, but this helped me understand the group dynamics in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sabrina | 6/24/2011

    " Amazing book! It's completely non-fiction, but most of it reads like fiction! Robbins gives the teens she studies challenges that change their image without changing themselves. I can relate to every main character in this book. :D "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renee | 6/16/2011

    " Stop making all the students conform. Those quirky kiddos have the innovative ideas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 6/16/2011

    " This is the third book by Robbins that I've read. I like her story-telling/journalist style. At times I felt her opinions were pushed a little to heavily, but in general the subject matter was really well presented.

    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wellington | 6/14/2011

    "
    I really wanted to like this book. Eventually, the format of following seven individual quirky students got confusing. Had trouble keeping track of who was who and what each of them were trying to achieve.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Traci | 6/13/2011

    " I enjoyed this book very much! It was so informative & really got me thinking about how to handle things as Abby grows up!! I highly recommend for parents, teachers, administrators, even teens!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 6/9/2011

    " Very good book. As a teacher, I can totally see what the author is saying about kids and social interactions. A must read for anyone with kids, or who works with kids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffany | 6/3/2011

    " This book was awesome!! The real people followed were interesting and I only wish the author had updated the reader to what happened to them after high school. A must read for any teacher, wannabe teacher and any parent of a teenager or soon to be. "

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About the Author
Author Alexandra RobbinsAlexandra Robbins, winner of the prestigious 2014 John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism, is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Pledged and The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth. She has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Times, and other publications, and has appeared on numerous television shows from 60 Minutes to The Colbert Report.
About the Narrator

Kathleen McInerney won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2011 and was a finalist for the Audie in 2010 and 2015. Her narrations have also earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has performed in New York and around the United States in both classical and contemporary theater. Her credits also include television commercials, daytime drama, radio plays, and animation voice-over.