The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
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The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  353 ratings  ·  105 reviews
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, detail...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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4.5 Read as digital ARC.

Recap: we've got a reality TV show, we've got a vigilante long poem, we've got my attention. This book is brilliant, a good match for English/Creative Writing majors, AP English-takers, and (it's so deep and well-written) maybe even for fans of John Green. You will learn about punctuation marks. You will use poetry to examine your feelings AND to fight against the man. You will like it.
Emery Lord
What a memorable story on every level--the characters, the setting, the poetry, humor. It takes a deft touch to incorporate academia into fiction without the reader sensing a You Are Learning Here signpost. But, wow does Kate Hattemer have that touch. Literary device, Imagism and references to other works are woven into a story that is at once funny (protag Ethan's triplet sisters are a laugh-out-loud riot) and authentic to teens. All in all, POETS manages to be smart without being unapproachabl...more
One of the best books I've read all year. Can't wait till April when it's published so that I can shove it in the hands of lots of students. Selwyn Academy is a high school specializing in the arts. Ethan Andrezejczak is an unassuming self-described member of the Untalented caste (okay at music, okay at drawing, but not nearly on the same level artistically as Maura the dancer and Brandon the opera singer and Broadway-bound Miki F-R). Life is fairly predictable for Ethan and his friends until th...more
This book tells a story through the eyes of a junior in a high school for the artistically inclined. I knew from the title that I had to read this book. Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review. I was drawn into the main character's head with his hard-to-pronounce last name and his endearing characteristics. I thought he was a breath of fresh air and so was his furry counterpart. This book was written very well and wasn't cheapened with...more
When NetGalley sent out an email of hot upcoming titles, I was instantly drawn to THE VIGILANTE POETS OF SELWYN ACADEMY. I wanted to know what a vigilante poet was. Add in that those vigilante poets' nemesis is a reality television show (a very current YA trend), and I was there.

Ethan and his three best friends, Luke, Jonathon, and Elizabeth, are students at Selwyn Academy. It's an arts academy, where the halls are filled with conversations such as Monet versus Manet. But lately, the only conve...more
[strong 3.5 rounded up for good writing, cute kids, and a talented gerbil.]

Ethan is the kind of teenager that stares at the back of a cute girl’s neck long enough to fall in crush with her. Since he’s attending an arts academy, she happens to be a ballerina with real potential to realize her dreams of admission to Julliard and even dancing at Lincoln Center someday. She’s a minor character in this novel, even though she’s a major one in Ethan’s fantasies, and For Art’s Sake, a reality TV show se...more
Lonna Pierce
Four high school juniors, Jackson, Elizabeth, Luke, and narrator, Ethan go to to an Arts School, Selwyn Academy, which has been invaded by a KTV Reality Show, "For Arts Sake." The simpering program pits student artists against each other for an arts college scholarship, but is really for ratings and big bucks for the producers. "A remarkable convergence of Ezra Pound and reality TV," the novel reveals the power of poetry, (Pair this book with "Jumped In.")tricolons, a gerbil named Baconaisse, an...more
Pooja (On books!)
Originally posted here: On Books!

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy has got to be the most enjoyable Young Adult book I've read in a while! I read this book way back in January, and if I hadn't been on an unofficial-hiatus I would've reviewed it right away. A lot of "reality show" based books end up wearing thin, but not this one.

The Vigilante Poets...(don't you love the title?) is about Ethan Andrezejczak who is witty, sarcastic, perfectly likable and hung up on ballerina Maura, the poster...more
Ashleigh Paige
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher via NetGalley.

Because the idea of framing is so important to this novel and my perception of it, I have a little framing of my own to do. I’m hungry for reality-TV-related novels like this one and Something Real by Heather Demetrios (a new favorite because good God, that is the horror people don’t see when it comes to reality TV). A couple of years ago, I read this nonfiction book Reality Bites Back by Jenn...more
Kristie Lowry
I love smart, realistic YA books, and THE VIGILANTE POETS OF SELWYN ACADEMY is definitely an example of that. In the book, a reality television show has taken over Selwyn Academy--a high school for teens who are gifted in the arts. Ethan, Luke, Jackson, and Elizabeth decide to protest what the show's presence has done to their school, and because they are studying Ezra Pound in their English class, they choose to stage their protest by distributing installments of a long poem written to point ou...more
Another read I found hard to classify as I related to a co-worker what I was reading. On the one hand, I was completely swept in by the story and the various characters movements. On the other, I kept trying to place Selwyn descriptions into a local Arts high school, because I happen to live where this is placed. Ethan and his group of friends are ones you can easily remember from school--maybe you were even one of them. When a reality show called For Art's Sake starts to take over the school, t...more
I got this eBook in return for a review. (Thanks Random House and Net Galley.)
I started reading it to my wife and we really loved the protag's voice. Part of the humor was how he'd go off on tangents that had nothing to do with the story. This was endearing for a while, until we became plot-starved. When the main goal/plot did finally wander in, it was still with a lot of slow "funny" stuff.
My biggest problem was that the Reality Show wasn't convincing at all. It felt completely unauthentic and...more
The premise of this book is fun and sounds right up my alley: a reality show is taping at an arts high school, and some of the students who are unhappy about it band together to publish a dissenting view. As an epic poem. However, the characters and the story were not quite as clever as I wanted them to be. I have recently been reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson with some students and the dialogue and observations about high school are so biting. This fell flat in comparison, not nearly as f...more
Lisa Shafer
Finally! A YA Book That's NOT About Romance!

More and more often lately, YA books are being written for adults who want sexy, romantic teen characters -- and very recently, the trend has been that one of these characters must have a terminal disease.
Vigilante Poets is a tremendously refreshing change.
My favorite thing about this book is how very realistic the main characters are. The male narrator, Ethan, is not sexy, suave, or sophisticated; he's idealistic, clueless about girls, and loyal. He'...more
Jeannie Standal
The thing I like about this book set in an arts high school is that our four main characters are nice, smart kids who are a little geeky in a realistic mathlete kind of way. They have inside jokes and a routine; they have history. The thing I don't like about this book is that most of the adults are a bit flat: we have the idiot villain, the evil villain, the TV villain, and the nice guy villain.

Selwyn Academy has been chosen for a reality TV show called "For Art's Sake" complete with fake-tann...more
Set at Selwyn Academy, a private school for students who excel in the arts, is the new host for For Arts' Sake, a reality television show that uses the academy and the academy's students. The winner of the reality television show will receive a scholarship, but we all know that reality television shows are just pulling in as much drama as possible ruining the contestants in the process. Ethan and his friends want to take this show down and show the students of the academy how evil it is....more
Though the writing was captivating and the story moved at a steady clip, it all felt very unsatisfying at the end. I understand the author's point that life isn't all nice and neat and not everything gets resolved, but the lack of resolution made the characters feel somewhat unremarkable and completely normal. Which, while they were relatable, made me wonder why I was spending my time reading this book when I could be reading something else. We don't read books to read about normal, everyday lif...more
This YA novel is perhaps a little short on plot but long on charm, and a great, fun book. The characters, mostly kids attending a special arts school, have typical teenage thoughts and emotions, but are very, very smart. That doesn't mean they are always wise.

When four of the not-cool group feel their school is being taken over my a reality program, they decide to do something about it, flying below the radar. This book has some poetry, both good and bad, lots of words that might need to be lear...more
Kimi (Geeky Chiquitas)
Originally posted at Geeky Chiquitas

Reviewed by: Audrey

Actual rating: 4.5

Ethan and his groups of friends decide to fight against a reality tv show being filmed in their school via long poems. They believe that the tv show is ruining their school and taking away their freedom. While studying Ezra Pound, they get the idea to use long poems to take away the reality tv show and show their fellow students what's going on. Luke, one of Ethan's friends and the one who came up with the idea of rebellion...more
Sheetal Dash
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy was an enjoyable, delightful read, and one of my all-time favorite reads for 2014 so far.Kate Hattemer shows that she not only has the ability to get inside the heads of Ethan and his friends, but also does so in a way that’s entertaining, funny and completely true to the teenage experience.Ethan and his friends not only have a compelling story to tell, but they will also likely remind readers of the energy and enthusiasm they had for intelligently and hilar...more
May 22, 2014 Beverly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 14-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: indie next list/
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy may end up being my favorite YA novel of the year. It is a smart, funny, jab at pop culture's shallowness and phoniness, with characters who are engaged, motivated, literate and authentic. Selwyn Academy is a high school for the arts, and protagonist Ethan feels he is one of the few students who is not artistically talented and gifted. He is so intimated by his classmates, that he chooses to be invisible. Luckily, he has three fabulous friends, who love him...more
Melissa Carpenter
When I saw this title and read the initial blurb, I knew I had to read it. I'm a sucker for a witty protagonist, vigilante world-changers, and prose involving poetry.

For the most part, I really enjoyed The Vigilante Poets and liked Ethan as a character. He's the kind of guy who falls in love with girls for unusual reasons, like a beautiful neck because it's the connecting point between the mind and the body, which is kind of cool. He's smart and funny, but not really over the top nerdy in a way...more
Veronica Boeve
A reality TV show has taken over the prestigious Selwyn Arts Academy, and Ethan's best friend Luke has just joined as a contestent. Now, Ethan and his two remaining best friends (plus a gerbil named Baconnaise) must put a stop to the show.

After reading to back-to-back rock star biographies, this book had great timing. The characters were witty and sarcastic, the plot was entertaining (but to be honest, I was more in it for the characterization and less for the actual storyline), and it had me la...more
at first, it's very much like Pretentious Privileged Private School Boys Get Rebellious (+ One Girl) -- which is OK, if only because it's just funny/self-deprecating enough to not be painful and there is friendship! also sporadic scenes with baby sisters! and a gerbil! but then the entire book is (imltho) redeemed in one glorious tirade by the one girl :D

a bit miffed by
1) the comparison of their plight to colonisation*
2) this single-minded focus on ezra pound
3) MC's obsession with girl's dreadl...more
I feel like it's been a long time since I read a YA novel that wasn't a) dystopian, b) a series or c) a romance. (And actually, for some reason the public library has this book in the juvenile section, which I think is reaching a little--it's about juniors in high school. Granted, there's nothing racy or druggy or, uh, even misbehavey REALLY, but I still can't imagine a 4th grader reading this and GETTING it.)

I really enjoyed the characters in this, though I think there was almost nothing REAL a...more
I adored this book! I loved the main character Ethan, and all the side characters. It's so refreshing when you come across a book with not only an original voice, but what feels like an authentic character. There are few things I don't love about this book. To be quite honest, I'm just feeling a little nit-picky about the ending. I was pleased that Luke didn't end up getting a scholarship because he really did not deserve one. Not karma wise, and not artistically! He did not even write his own p...more
A fun, funny read that almost makes me like Ezra Pound. (The Imagists were... cool, I guess. Still not my favourites, though.) I had heard Hattemer deemed "the next John Green," which I don't think is fair, because...
a) the story was gripping in its own right and didn't feature any kind of recognizable John Green protagonist (he has a type)
b) Hattemer knows when to let an image rest
c) her characters all speak differently and like real people (AUGUSTUS WATERS AND HAZEL LANCASTER, I AM LOOKING AT...more
Zabet The Dark Empress of Dark Chocolate
Title: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
Author: Kate Hattemer
Publisher: Knopf/Random House
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Rating: 2/5

Cover Impressions: This cover is interesting, but I am not sure that I love it. The colors are a little bland and the two characters on the front are trying far to hard to look cool.

The Gist: The students at Sewlyn Arts Academy have been invaded by reality TV. The new hit show For Art's Sake is being filmed in their halls and is pitting student against student for a...more
What if they started filming a reality TV show at your school? That would be pretty awesome- right? What if it wasn’t so awesome? What if everything started to revolve around the show and all the things that made your school cool and unique were disappearing?
Ethan and his friends attend Selwyn Academy, a school for teens that are focused on the arts. Ethan had always enjoyed school and his friends until For Art’s Sake took over. For Art’s Sake is the new reality show, starring students from Sel...more
I truly enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book. I thought the author did a stellar job exploring teen issues without ever being sanctimonious, preachy, condescending, or cloying. From the solipsism of teen angst to the safety/cowardice of only desiring that which is out of reach, the interior lives of the teens were part of the plot without being turned into After School Specials.

The plot itself, while not entirely believable, was fun. The idea of teens trying to live their already complex lives whi...more
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