'Divergent' author Roth cites her suburban mentors

Best-selling dystopian science fiction writers don't just fall off trees. They need mentors. Just ask Barrington High School grad Veronica Roth, author of “Divergent,” now a Hollywood motion picture opening this week.

“At Grove Elementary School, I was in this gifted program for English,” she said. “Becky Gill was the first teacher who told me to write and that I should pursue it.

“Then came Ryan Goble in high school. He pressured me into submitting my writing to contests. He said it would be good for my college applications. During lunch breaks and after school, he would help me put together submissions to writing contests.

“June Kramer taught an interrelated arts class, an honors-level class that incorporated art, music and literature. There were two teachers, but she did all the literature stuff. She was very encouraging and wise and smart and kept my interest in reading alive, even at a time when I was saying, ‘I am tired of reading! I'm reading too much for school!' So she was a big influence.”

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