Robert Cormier

Photo of Robert Cormier
Robert Cormier (1925-2000) was born in Leominster, Massachusetts. He began writing very early and by the time he was in seventh grade, he knew he wanted to be a writer. 

Cormier began his career writing scripts for radio commercials, going on to work for more than 30 years as newspaper reporter and columnist, winning three major awards. His first novel Now and At the Hour, was published in in 1960 and earned him great critical appreciation and kick-started his literary career. He published two novels in the next few years, before becoming a full-time author.

Cormier's plots were inspired by news events and, in some cases, by circumstances in his own life. He had an outstanding ability to create stories that captured human interest; in particular he liked to explore what motivated behavior often called ‘evil’, but which became understandable when seen through the eyes of his characters. "I take real people and put them in extraordinary situations," he once said in an interview with the ‘School Library Journal’. "I'm very much interested in intimidation. And the way people manipulate other people and the obvious abuse of authority."

Robert Cormier went on to author ten major novels and several short stories, most of which are specifically for young adults. Although he did not enjoy initial commercial success, he always received immense critical acclaim. His stories were centered on themes of abuse, betrayal, mental illness, violence, and revenge—stories in which good did not necessarily win out over evil.

Nationality: American

Featured series by Robert Cormier

Chocolate War (Ages 13 and up)