The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
By Kate Hattemer
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780385753784, 336pp.)
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
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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.
KATE HATTEMER taught high school Latin for three years and now works at an independent bookstore in Cincinnati. She delivered an epic poem at her university graduation ceremony. The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy is her first book.
Starred review, Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2014:
“A sparkling, timely tour of the complicated intersection where life meets art. . . . A treat from cover to cover.”
Starred review, Booklist, March 15, 2014:
“Relying on the passion and ideals that drive adolescence, this has a vibrancy and authenticity that will resonate with anyone who has fought for their beliefs—or who has loved a hamster. (You’ll see.)”
Starred review, VOYA, April 2014:
“Tricolons, espionage, and embezzlement: what is not to like? This brilliantly paced novel is a fresh look at life as an artistic teen. . . . [A] hilarious story of friendship and poetry.”
Starred review, The Bulletin, May 2014:
“Crackling, witty narration, free roaming between hyperintellectual allusion (including Latinate plays on words) and shout-outs to Candyland and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, will immediately grip fans of Frank Portman and John Green. . . . Irresistible.”
Starred review, Publishers Weekly, June 23, 2014:
“The tension between cynicism and naïveté, knowledge and innocence in these brainy but still maturing kids is astutely evoked, and readers will be right there alongside them for every protest, misstep, and loss.”