The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer
It’s not getting stuck in a locker after school that’s the final straw re: reality TV for Ethan (to be fair, the locker thing was just poor planning). Or the fact that For Art’s Sake, the reality show stalking the halls of his Minneapolis fine arts high school, is making his dream girl Maura Heldsman look like a vapid, if enormously talented, philanderer of a ballerina (to be fair, she kind of is. Enormously talented. And vapid. And a heartless cheater.). It’s when his best friend Luke calls foul on reality TV, and decides that not only is he going to get even, his friends are going to help, Ezra Pound-style. Because how else would a bunch of fine arts kids get even?
Ethan would be content to hang out in Luke’s basement after school teaching Luke’s genius gerbil Baconnaise color-coded circus tricks, but Luke has other ideas. Together with brilliant math nerd Jackson (who takes notes in binary on Thursdays) and Luke’s funky hippie chick cousin, Elizabeth, the four decide to fight back against the invasion of reality TV and return Selwyn Academy to its true purpose – the pursuit of art. With their English teacher to inspire and advise them (covertly, since the administration would be none too pleased with attempts to sabotage Hollywood funding), the foursome write a long poem in the spirit of Ezra Pound’s Cantos skewering the show, and distribute it to the student body.
Instant chaos, rebellion, and fame.
But all is not as it seems in the land of poets and rebels. Just when Ethan finds himself inspired for real, and by more than Maura’s insipid smile and Baconnaise’s acrobatic talents, Ethan finds his small world upended. Loyalties will be tested, rhyme schemes abandoned, and gerbils deployed in an epic battle for truth.
This book was just so much fun! Witty and clever, twisty and smart, you’ll cheer Ethan on as he and his friends (and one intrepid gerbil) do everything they can to upend the power of Selwyn’s administration and the evil, grasping tentacles of Hollywood. For fans of John Green, Andrew Smith and last year’s The Beginning of Everything, don’t miss your chance to feel like a poetic rebel and check this out today!