Alexandra Robbins is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning speaker whose lectures were lauded in a May 2011 New York Times Style cover story that called her talks "deeply comforting." The press has dubbed Robbins "One of, if not the most, widely read journalists under age 35," "Bob Woodward for the young adult set," and "a media celebrity." She regularly appears on television shows such as 60 Minutes, Today, Oprah, The View, CNN News, and The Colbert Report - for which she was voted one of the top guests of the year by Colbert Nation. In her newest book and her fourth bestseller, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School (Hyperion), as well as in her keynote speeches, Robbins explains the fascinating psychology and science behind popularity and outcasthood, as well as how the things that set students apart in high school are the very things that help them stand out later in life.
While writing The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Robbins followed seven real high schoolers grappling with the uncertainties of high school social life, including those labeled as the Loner, the Popular Bitch, the Nerd, the New Girl, the Gamer, the Weird Girl, and the Band Geek. In the middle of the year, Robbins surprised her subjects with a secret challenge -- to participate in experiments that forced 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, why outsiders succeed, how schools make the social scene worse -- and how to fix it. Robbins provides her audiences with essential material not just 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.
Robbins has written for several publications, including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, LA Times , and The Washington Post. Her books include The Overachievers, a New York Times Editors' Choice and People magazine Critics' Choice; Pledged: The Secret Lives of Sororities; Secrets of the Tomb, about George W. Bush's secret society Skull and Bones; and the Quarterlife Crisis series.
The winner of the 2007 Heartsongs award for contributions to the mental health of children and young adults, Robbins is also a frequent judge for the National MS Society's Books for a Better Life Awards.
Praise for Robbins's Keynote Speeches:
"Thank you for presenting an incredible lecture and discussion. This forum reaches out to aspects of family life, and your program was very meaningful and well received by both parents and students. Your presentation was very enlightening and helpful as you described the ways that our teens push themselves to reach the lofty goals before them. We found it very interesting to look around and see so many people shaking their heads in understanding and agreement. Everyone who attended was truly inspired by your message and discussions have continued."
-- Head Rabbi at a synagogue
"We have had wonderful responses from your speaking engagement. Your research and conclusions about the effects of overly competitive school settings, high parental expectations, and athlete burnout struck a chord with our audience. We applaud your bold ideas and suggestions for students, parents, and school administrators and we thank you for your very professional and enlightening presentation."
-- Head of a K-8 school
"Thank you for your amazing lecture on real Greek life. We are still hearing feedback on bringing a fresh, new look on secret organizations. It was a success!"
-- College Student Organization
"Thank you for your great presentation. The evaluations were all extremely positive. The feedback for your presentation was wonderful. People commented on your speaking ability and your ability to motivate for change. The audience was clearly touched by your knowledge and presentation of such important material."
-- Annual counselors' association conference
"Your keynote was VERY popular and people were still talking about how much they enjoyed it ... after the conference was over."
-- Educators' association
"The conference's success will be attributed to your outstanding presentation and the discussion that was generated by your panel."
-- Association of American Colleges & Universities
Praise for The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth:
"Ms. Robbins has built her career giving voice and shape to the lives of teenagers ... 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 -- what Ms. Robbins has dubbed Quirk Theory."
-- The New York Times
"It's a pleasure getting to know Blue (The Gamer), Danielle (The Loner), Regan (The Weird Girl), Eli (The Nerd), Noah (The Band Geek), Joy (The New Girl) and Whitney (The Popular Bitch) ... Geeks is required reading for anyone who has ever felt left out, dismissed, laughed at, bullied or misunderstood. High schools everywhere would do well to incorporate it into their curriculum and heed the solutions offered. Robbins' ode to the cafeteria fringe will have you laughing, cheering, shocked, a little depressed and at times, fuming. Just like high school."
-- Chicago Sun-Times
"An excellent overview of the complex social environment of high school, told in an accessible and often humorous and touching manner. High school students as well as adults ... will enjoy this book. Very highly recommended."
-- Library Journal, starred review
"A useful reminder to all of us to discover and encourage the quirks that make certain students exceptional. Robbins offers real hope to adolescents who must realize that "it gets better" is far more than wishful thinking. The author has a gift for writing fact like fiction [and] includes a helpful appendix, "31 Tips for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Schools."
-- Kirkus Reviews