The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins
When school lunchroom doors open, hungry students rush in, searching for tables where they wouldn't be outsiders. Of course, in middle school and high school, almost everyone is an outsider: the nerds, the new girls, the band geeks, the loners; even the "popular" cheerleaders.
Alexandra Robbins' The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth takes us inside the hallways of real schools to show us how shifting cliques and permanent marginalization affect children. Following individual students over the course of a year, she tracks the plight and possibilities of self-confessed nerds, freaks, punks, Goths, and weirdos. Her central message is heartening: Our increasingly homogenized society ultimately needs and welcomes the cafeteria fringe. -Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads
This should be required reading for all teens, parents, and teachers. There are so many great ideas to take away from this book: the things that make you a "geek" are actually strengths that will become more valuable as life goes on, appearances are deceiving, how double-edged popularity is, the dangerously subtle ways bullying happens, how important support networks are, and that things do get better. This book takes turns being informative, fascinating, heart-breaking and inspirational, and is full of practical advice to teens and those who live/work with them.