Betamen
by Matt Griffin and Anna Reishus

At a prestigious Catholic school, a new student is drawn into a toxic feud between the draconian faculty and a group of anarchic pranksters.
When high school sophomore Devin Taylor transfers to all-boys Catholic school Clifton Academy, he just wants to get good grades and please his teachers. But his academic track record can’t help him when the faculty take a strong interest in his spiritual life and tell him that his love of fantasy novels demonstrates too much “independent thought.” Then he finds out his new friends are humiliating teachers by photoshopping them into compromising positions, and suddenly they demand his help sticking clay penises to the ceramics classroom ceiling! If he’s going to survive this year, Devin has to choose a side: Should he become the disciplined young Catholic man his instructors tell him to be, or join the rebellion against them? Can he find the space to be himself in between the two? And what’s going on with that secret betta fish fighting tournament on campus?
Betamen is a comedic coming-of-age story about the pressures of religious tradition and toxic masculinity.
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(First 24 pages)
Meet the Characters
Devin Taylor
A nervous, introverted high schooler who just wants to do well in school and please his teachers. When he transfers to Clifton Academy for his sophomore year, he becomes torn between following the rules and gaining social acceptance with a group of pranksters. Devin ultimately must decide how to stand by himself and follow his own values.
Chris Cunningham
An intelligent Clifton student who knows how to get away with causing chaos. He skillfully alternates between being a proper young man and a mischievous troublemaker. Cunningham manipulates the Clifton faculty and pressures Devin to raise a little hell. 
Jesse Harris

A nerdy overachiever and Devin’s friend of many years. Extroverted and witty, Jesse doesn’t mind speaking out when something is bothering her - like Devin’s changing attitude after he starts at Clifton.

Dr. Drake
The “cool” teacher who cares deeply about his students and his faith. He strives to be a fun-but-respectful role model for Clifton students. He takes a special interest in Devin’s spiritual life.
Mr. Carpenter
A stressed-out Clifton teacher with a short fuse and fiery temper. He’s devoutly religious and wants to help his students, but easily loses control of classroom situations. 
Gail Taylor
Devin’s mom. Her frequent jokes and wisecracks complement her strong moral compass. She wants Devin to have the best education possible - and a Catholic one.  
Sam Taylor
Devin’s Dad. He likes to think of himself as a “guy’s guy,” but still worries about Clifton’s culture and its impact on Devin.
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