Overachievers : the secret lives of driven kids / Alexandra Robbins.

By: Robbins, Alexandra, 1976-
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Hyperion, 2006Edition: 1st edISBN: 140130902X :; 9781401309022Subject(s): Overachievement | Overachievement -- Case studiesDDC classification: 305.2350973
List(s) this item appears in: PHS - 11 AP - Nonfiction
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    Average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Shelving location Call number Status Notes Date due Barcode Item holds
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 305.2350973 ROB Available pap.ed. 36748001934068
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 305.2350973 ROB Available pap.ed. 36748001934001
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

"You can't just be the smartest. You have to be the most athletic, you have to be able to have the most fun, you have to be the prettiest, the best dressed, the nicest, the most wanted. You have to constantly be out on the town partying, and then you have to get straight As. And most of all, you have to appear to be happy." -- CJ, age seventeen<br> <br> High school isn't what it used to be. With record numbers of students competing fiercely to get into college, schools are no longer primarily places of learning. They're dog-eat-dog battlegrounds in which kids must set aside interests and passions in order to strategize over how to game the system. In this increasingly stressful environment, kids aren't defined by their character or hunger for knowledge, but by often arbitrary scores and statistics.<br> <br> In The Overachievers, journalist Alexandra Robbins delivers a poignant, funny, riveting narrative that explores how our high-stakes educational culture has spiraled out of control. During the year of her ten-year reunion, Robbins returns to her high school, where she follows students, including CJ and others:<br> <br> Julie, a track and academic star who is terrified she's making the wrong choices; "AP" Frank, who grapples with horrifying parental pressure to succeed; Taylor, a soccer and lacrosse captain whose ambition threatens her popular girl status; Sam, who worries his years of overachieving will be wasted if he doesn't attend a name-brand college; Audrey, who struggles with perfectionism; and The Stealth Overachiever, a mystery junior who flies under the radar. Robbins tackles hard-hitting issues such as the student and teacher cheating epidemic, over-testing, sports rage, the black market for study drugs, and a college admissions process so cutthroat that some students are driven to depression and suicide because of a B. Even the earliest years of schooling have become insanely competitive, as Robbins learned when she gained unprecedented access into the inner workings of a prestigious Manhattan kindergarten admissions office. A compelling mix of fast-paced storytelling and engrossing investigative journalism, The Overachievers aims both to calm the admissions frenzy and to expose its escalating dangers.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

An overwritten account of the overachiever culture that is stressing out teenagers. Robbins, an investigative journalist who has previously explored the secrets of Yale's Skull and Bones society (Secrets of the Tomb, 2002) and those of college sororities (Pledged, 2004), returns after ten years to her old high school, Walt Whitman, in Bethesda, Md., to see how today's students are coping with the pressures of competition. Over the course of roughly one school year, she followed nine students, who are given pseudonyms and descriptive labels indicating how they are perceived by their classmates: super star, teacher's pet, slacker, etc. Most are seniors working extremely hard to get accepted into a prestigious college or university; one is a Harvard freshman struggling to find his way in that setting. Sandwiched between these repetitive and minutely detailed profiles are some informative, short pieces on the deleterious impact of No Child Left Behind, issues with SAT testing, the problematic ranking of colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report, the obsession with Ivy League and other top-ranked schools, the hypercompetiveness of parents, the questionable role of private college consultants, the effects of adolescent sleep deprivation, the rise in teenage suicides and the pressures on teachers to inflate grades. The author's interviews with college admissions officers may assuage some parents' anxiety that their kids' getting into the right nursery school is the necessary first step toward a prestigious college that will launch their offspring on a financially successful career. Her report on the process by which children applying to kindergarten at Trinity School in New York are evaluated captures that phenomenon well. Robbins winds up with a list of actions that high schools, colleges, college counselors, parents and students can take to change the culture of overachievement, which she sees as pervading our educational system. Some worthwhile research here, buried under an off-putting amount of teenage trivia. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Phillipsburg Free Public Library
200 Broubalow Way
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
(908)-454-3712
www.pburglib.org

Powered by Koha