Mark Duff is a retired Basalt High School science teacher, who's now a published author.
His first novel, "This Ruler," is set in a fictional high school where standardized testing has run amok.
It draws stark contrasts between the often greedy, ambitious adults and one group of students, led by the story's main character, Sialia, who fight for their humanity in a system that sees them as numbers, not people.
Duff spoke with Christin Kay about how his teaching career inspired the book, and why teenagers make the perfect heroes.
He will discuss "This Ruler" Thursday at the Basalt Library at 5:30 p.m.