The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer

Reviewed for this blog by Andrea, Windsor Library

Selwyn Academy has the unique privilege of hosting an arts-based competitive reality TV show in which high school students compete based on their preferred medium. Ethan and company decide to buck the system and undermine this school takeover by guerrilla publishing an epic poem making fun of and demanding attention from the show runners and the audience at large.

This title has lots of attractive qualities. Zany plot that’s not quite believable but tons of fun to read, entertaining and genuine relationships between the teenagers, and plenty of sweet, awkward, haven’t-we-all-been-there moments that add a charming quality to the reading experience. It fits in well with other contemporary, realistic, amusing high school fiction.

When I think about general qualities of this one, I think it fits in well with some of the other titles that have been recognized in the past. Vera Dietz, Frankie Landau, Why We Broke Up all come to mind when thinking about the realm in which Vigilante Poets exists and yet these other titles also embody bigger ideas and opinions than this one. This book is snarky and fun. But I don’t think it has the staying power to be considered award-worthy.


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