Robert Edmond Cormier
|Born||January 17, 1925|
Leominster, Massachusetts, United States
|Died||November 2, 2000 (aged 75)|
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Period||1962 - 2000|
|Genres||Suspense, Young Adult|
|Spouse||Connie Cormier (b 1948)|
|Children||Andrew Zimbal |
Chris Cormier Hayes
|Relatives||Lucien J. Cormier (father) |
Irma M. Cormier (mother)
Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925 – November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist, and reporter. His literature includes negative feelings and ideas. His most popular books include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War. All of those novels won awards. Many people tried to keep his first book, The Chocolate War out of libraries because they thought it was bad for children. His books often show abuse, mental illness, violence, revenge, betrayal and conspiracy. In most of his novels, the good characters fail.
Biography[change | change source]
Robert Cormier was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, United States, in the French-Canadian part of the town called French Hill. His parents were Geoffrey Leonard and Irma Cormier. Robert was the second of eight children. His family moved often to so they could pay their rent. However, they never left Leominster. Even when Robert was older, he stayed nearby. He owned a summer home 19 miles away from his hometown. Cormier studied at St. Cecilia's Parochial School. It was a private Catholic school. He began writing when he was in the first grade. He was praised at school for his poetry. He first decided to become a writer in 7th grade. He was encouraged by a nun to write a poem. He went Leominster High School and graduated as the president of his class. As a freshman at Fitchburg State College, he had his first short story published. A college professor, Florence Conlon, sent one of his stories to a national Catholic magazine called The Sign. She did not ask Cormier before she sent the story to the magazine. He was paid $75. Cormier early work was writing advertisements for radio. Later, he became an award-winning journalist. Even though he became widely known, he never stopped writing for his local newspaper, the Fitchburg Sentinel.
Writing[change | change source]
Cormier became a full-time writer after his first novel for teenagers, The Chocolate War, became successful. Then he wrote other books such as I Am the Cheese and After the First Death. He thought young people in modern society experienced many problems. He put his thoughts and worries into his novels. Soon he became known as a very good writer. Cormier would not change his way of thinking to please other people. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult Services Division of the American Library Association. This award is for writers who give young adults a new way to see the world understand their place in society.
ICormier used real places in some of his books. His hometown, Leominster, became the town of Monument in the story. The real place French Hill became Frenchtown.
Actions against The Chocolate War[change | change source]
People have tried to ban The Chocolate War and keep it out of schools and libraries. They did not want children to read the book because it described sexual activity and used adult language. The book also described secret societies and students breaking rules. The book was challenged many times between 1990 and 2000. According to the American Library Association only three other books were challenged more often during that time.
Published works[change | change source]
Listed by publication date
- Now and At the Hour (1960)
- Mrs. Riley is a Bad Teacher (1962) (unpublished? manuscript only?)
- A Little Raw on Monday Mornings (1963)
- Take Me Where the Good Times Are (1965)
- The Chocolate War (1974)
- I Am the Cheese (1977)
- After the First Death (1979)
- The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1983)
- Beyond The Chocolate War (1985)
- Fade (1988)
- Other Bells for Us to Ring (1990) (Published in U.K. in 1991 under the title Darcy)
- We All Fall Down (1991)
- Tunes for Bears to Dance To (1992)
- In the Middle of the Night (1995)
- Tenderness (1998)
- Heroes (1998)
- The Rag and Bone Shop (2001)
- I Have Words to Spend (1991)
References[change | change source]
- "Robert Cormier - Biography". Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- "ALA | 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000". Archived from the original (HTML) on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
- "Robert Cormier - Penguin UK Authors - Penguin UK". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Robert Cormier Interview". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Worchester Area Writers - Robert Cormier - Bio". Archived from the original on 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- "Barnes & Noble.com". Archived from the original on 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- Gardner, Lyn (2000-11-06). "Robert Cormier | News | Guardian Unlimited Books" (HTML). The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Robert Cormier". Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "ALA | 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000". Archived from the original (HTML) on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-01-21.