MONTVILLE, NJ - More than 30 students gathered after school on March 20 at Lazar Middle School in anticipation of the premiere of “Divergent.”  The first movie based on the popular teenage dystopian series by the same name, “Divergent” opened on March 21, and finished the weekend at number one with a reported $56 million in earnings.

The “Divergent” trilogy, by Veronica Roth, has sold more than 2.6 million books since its debut in 2011. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, “Divergent” explores the division of society along the lines of personality. Each character is classified into a category known as a faction. Conflict arises when the characters don’t fit neatly into their factions.

Lazar’s “Divergent” celebration was hosted by Librarian, Suzanne Metz, and Language Arts teachers, Claudia Heim and Denise Tarsitano. The afternoon’s activities included faction exploration, “Divergent” trivia, T-shirt design and cupcake decorating. Temporary tattoos depicting the factions of Candor, Amnity, Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite, which are central to the plot of “Divergent, were available.  

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As with similar serial books, such as “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games,” most of the fans are middle school age girls. But at Thursday’s premiere party, a few young men were also in attendance. While they mostly claimed they came to the party for the food, all participated in the activities and agreed they would like to see the “Divergent” movie.

Many of these fans came to the party dressed in character, and had plans to attend the movie’s opening the next day.

“In the past we've thrown parties for Twilight” and “The Hunger Games,” said Metz about the “Divergent” party. “This presents a perfect opportunity to share the excitement generated by the movie.”

Principal, Sharon Carr, said that the excitement the students have for the popular books, and the enthusiasm they have expressed during the last three Lazar premiere parties, has inspired her to read all three series of books.

“Look at all these students,” Carr said as she surveyed the “Divergent” crowd. “All this from reading a book. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Also on display at the party were other library books which might be of interest for young adult readers like Lazar’s “Divergent” fans.