The Secret Lives of Driven KidsBook - 2006
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.
From the critics
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"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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