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Robert Cormier: Facts & Criticism Essay

Robert Edmund Cormier, also known by his pseudonym… John Fitch IV, was born on January 17, 1925, in Leominster, Massachusetts. He was the second of eight children. He attended Fitchburg State College and for 30 years he worked as a journalist for the local newspaper. It wasn’t until 1960, when he was in his late 40’s, that he published his first novel, “Now and at the Hour,” which was inspired by his own fathers death. Ever since then Cormier has been publishing great novels such as “I am the Cheese,” “We all fall Down,” and “The Chocolate War.” Cormier died at the age of 75 on November 2, 2000. His last novel was “The Rag and Bone Shop,” which was published in 2001 (after his death).

One of Robert Cormier’s top-selling novels is “The Chocolate War.” His own son inspired this novel; his son refused to participate in selling chocolates at his school. The Chocolate War is about a boy named Jerry Renault who attends The Trinity, an all-boy Catholic school. Each year the school is to sell chocolates as a fund-raiser. Accepted as an assignment from “The Vigils,” the respectable high school gang, Jerry refuses to sell the chocolates for ten days. It appears that after the ten days are up Jerry still refuses to sell chocolates by his own will. Jerry is more than a freshman, he is a hero to many who stands up for what he believes in, and many students start to realize this. The book continues on and demonstrates how life doesn’t always go as planned, but you still shouldn’t give up no matter what the case may be.

Many teenagers can relate to Cormier’s The Chocolate War. It talks about the true, real hardships that teenager’s experience everyday as a normal routine. The storyline is easy to relate to and you can picture the characters and the events going through your head. As great as this book may seem there has been several debates on Cormier’s writing style.

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