The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer

jj11In Hattemer’s clever and highly entertaining debut, a witty and sarcastic Ethan and his three friends decide to take down the reality TV show, ‘For Art’s Sake’, which is being filmed at their high school, the esteemed Selwyn Arts Academy, where each student is more talented than the next.

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy begin their journey in English class, when Ethan and his friends are inspired to write a long poem stating the negative facts about enrolling into the reality show and distribute the poem to the entire student body. Midway through the book, readers find out Luke, who is the creative force behind the poem, becomes a contestant on the nefarious show. It’s up to Ethan and his two remaining best friends, and also the heroic gerbil named Baconnaise to save their school. Even though the author describes the story through the protagonist Ethan’s flawed and biased mind, we still get to see the other characters on their own terms too, which shows us their individual perspectives and how they think about situations throughout the book.

Along the way, the group learns a web of secrets and corruption involving the principal, vice principal, and even their favourite teacher. Readers can observe the sarcastic way through which people can fall short, and come through, and most importantly how art can make a difference in peoples life.

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