Robert Edmund Cormier was a well-known columnist, author and reporter. He was born on January 17, 1925 in Leominster, Massachusetts to Irma and Lucien Cormier. He was the second of eight children and enjoyed spending time with his family. Family was always more important than fame or fortune to Cormier. Hard work and commitment led him to jobs that helped prepare him to be an excellent writer. Throughout his life he wrote many award winning books; two of his most well known books are The Chocolate War and Now and at the Hour. Used as an escape from the harsh truths of life, writing was Cormier’s favorite hobby (Smith).
During his childhood, his family moved many times within the French Hill area, but the family never left Leominster where his father, Lucien, supported the family by working at local factories. They moved frequently as the family grew in order to afford rent during the Depression (Hubbard). Cormier never felt a close bond with his father, since he was always busy working in order to provide for the family. Growing up his mother was always his biggest fan and encouraged him in everything he chose to do (Cormier). Although his mother was Irish the Cormier’s spoke English at home. Cormier always chose to write in English, but the characters in his stories had French-sounding names (Smith).
Cormier was a bookish child, and not particularly good at physical activities. He enjoyed reading all types of books and was happiest when he was at home with his family (Smith). Cormier attended St. Cecilia’s Parochial School, a private catholic school in the Leominster area. The experiences at the school greatly impacted his life and writing in several different ways. In sixth grade, a nun encouraged him to write; that was the first time he considered being a writer (Hubbard). At the end of his eight grade year, he witnessed a fire swallow his mother and baby sister, who were trapped inside of their home. Before he could run outside to help his family, the nun teaching him made him sit down and finish reciting the rosary with the rest of the class (Smith). The fire caused Cormier to have bitter feelings toward the church; although, his mother and sister were saved from the tragedy (Hubbard).
High school years were not a breeze for the young Cormier. He moved from catholic to private schools which made it hard for him to break into new social circles, writing was all he had (Rothman). Despite all the challenges that he faced, Cormier was elected president of his senior at Leominster High School in 1944. During his first year of college, a teacher read one of Cormier’s compositions and encouraged him to write a story (Hubbard). He went home that night and wrote a short story; his teacher secretly sent the story to the catholic magazine, Sign. The story, “The Little Things that Count,” was published six weeks later and Cormier received seventy-five dollars (Smith).
His mother always encouraged him to write and never criticized his works like...