The Secret Lives of Driven Kids

Book - 2006
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The bestselling author of Pledged returns with a groundbreaking look at the pressure to achieve faced by America's teens

In Pledged, Alexandra Robbins followed four college girls to produce a riveting narrative that read like fiction. Now, in The Overachievers, Robbins uses the same captivating style to explore how our high-stakes educational culture has spiraled out of control. During the year of her ten-year reunion, Robbins goes back to her high school, where she follows heart-tuggingly likeable students including "AP" Frank, who grapples with horrifying parental pressure to succeed; Audrey, whose panicked perfectionism overshadows her life; Sam, who worries his years of overachieving will be wasted if he doesn't attend a name-brand college; Taylor, whose ambition threatens her popular girl status; and The Stealth Overachiever, a mystery junior who flies under the radar.

Robbins tackles teen issues such as intense stress, the student and teacher cheating epidemic, sports rage, parental guilt, the black market for study drugs, and a college admissions process so cutthroat that students are driven to suicide and depression because of a B.

With a compelling mix of fast-paced narrative and fascinating investigative journalism, The Overachievers aims both to calm the admissions frenzy and to expose its escalating dangers.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781401302016
Characteristics: 439 p. ; 25 cm


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Jul 05, 2013

Have you ever wanted to know how those 'overachievers' at your school, or who were in your school, always managed to have it all? They got the best grades, were the star athlete everybody wanted to be, and president in every club/organization they were involved in, which was pretty much all of them? This book takes you into the minds of those kids, and usually, it's not so pretty. Alexandra Robbins talks us through the stories of six different kids, all labeled as different things, but they have the same worries. She also talks about the scary mental-health stats of students today, how the No Child Left Behind Act has changed the face of education, and many other topics. Everybody needs to pick up this book, it will change your life, and the way that school is viewed, forever.

Aug 08, 2012

As a student from a high-achieving area, I enjoyed reading this book. The college experience and the journey leading up to it have changed over time, and Robbins does a good job showing the current worries, stresses, and plethora of other things that go into being the "best."


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Jul 05, 2013

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jul 05, 2013

"Locked in her room as the SAT neared, she was forbidden to take breaks, relax, or chat with friends. Burned out and stressed beyond belief, the non-drinker skipped school soon after the test to try to relax at a friend's house, where she had two beers. A police officer happened to catch the students, arrested them, and jailed them for the day. Her parents didn't speak to her for a week, but not because of the arrest. They were furious because of her 1300 (out of 1600) SAT score."


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