The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy – Kate Hattemer


Witty, sarcastic Ethan and his three friends decide to take down the reality TV show, For Art’s Sake, that is being filmed at their high school, the esteemed Selwyn Arts Academy, where each student is more talented than the next. While studying Ezra Pound in English class, the friends are inspired to write a vigilante long poem and distribute it to the student body, detailing the evils of For Art’s Sake. But then Luke—the creative force behind the poem and leader of the anti-show movement—becomes a contestant on the nefarious show. It’s up to Ethan, his two remaining best friends, and a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise to save their school. Along the way, they’ll discover a web of secrets and corruption involving the principal, vice principal, and even their favorite teacher.


Any book that can make interrobangs a key factor is a winner to me. This is witticism at its finest, with just a splash of quirky (without going overboard, unlike many other stories with eccentric protagonists). I loved the tricolons and the power of Ezra Pound. Ethan is perfectly socially awkward (in a loveable way). He goes to a cool school under circumstances that set him apart and unappreciated. He is definitely intelligent, but doesn’t excel at the things that are valued most at his school. It makes one wonder about those whose talents are undervalued in our society.

Hattemer is good at creating an entire CAST of loveable characters. Ethan, Jackson, and Elizabeth were great. In fact, I LOVED the Applemen and their assortment of “condiments.” But I also still liked (and rooted on) Maura and Luke. And the triplets were adorable.

It was fun to live in this alternate world. There was a cause, a decision, and an action — a tricolon of things to show that anyone can make a difference. Be the change‽

Related Reading

  • Take a Bow – Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Something Real – Heather Demetrios
  • You Look Different In Real Life – Jennifer Castle
  • Winger – Andrew Smith
  • Breakfast Served Anytime – Sarah Combs

Rating: 5/5


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