Alexandra Robbins follows seven young people in the public school system in different schools across the country. She follows: “The Loner,” “The Popular Bitch,” “The Nerd,” “The New Girl,” “The Gamer,” “The Weird Girl, ” and “The Band Geek.” Each stands out in a different way as an interesting person who is unable to thrive in a high school environment due to discrimination, bullying, preconceived notions held by others that made them feel like they had no power to change their social status, and their own convictions that others are right that social status is unchangeable. Robbins effectively demonstrates that the things that set apart the students who occupy the fringe in high school are the things that will help them thrive when they leave high school. Robbins also includes interviews with psychologists, counselors, teachers and students from a variety of school settings across the country.
This is an encouraging book for students who are unique and have interests that aren’t widely held. Robbins ends by making suggestions for how parents can encourage their children to be individuals and thrive in high school. She also makes suggestions for teachers and administrators about how they can create more welcoming atmospheres in their schools and encourage creativity and individuality.