Speech on Childhood, Reading, Writing, and Parenting

Speech on childhood reading, writing, and the fear behind censorship PART I

Speech on childhood reading, writing, and the fear behind censorship PART I

These first 20 pages of his 1997 Phoenix Award Acceptance Speech for I Am the Cheese ruminates on memories of Robert Cormier's childhood development into a writer and reader, making specific mention of Sister Catherine and the Leominster Public Library. Following, he shares the pleasure of coming into young adult literature and the revelations that has led him to reconsider the abilities of young readers. His fame resulted in several requests to write about young adults, not just for them. Here he shares thoughts on what has and has not changed about teens and the world more broadly.

Speech on childhood reading, writing, and the fear behind censorship PART II

Speech on childhood reading, writing, and the fear behind censorship PART II

This part of the Phoenix Award acceptance speech includes pages 21-30 and 41-50. Here Robert Cormier continues to demonstrate the lighter side of his work evident in his journalistic writing. The missing pages appeared to include an advanced reading of the beginning of Heroes. The segment of the draft resumes with a letter exchange with a concerned parent and a reading of part of Cormier’s essay “The Shortcuts,” which tries to dissuade the young from growing up too quickly. The introduction to this story hints that the end of the speech was delivered by one of Cormier’s children.

Related Links:

Description and part winners of the Children's Literature Association's Phoenix Award
http://www.childlitassn.org/phoenix-award

Robert Cormier Center for Young Adults at the Leominster Public Library
http://www.leominsterlibrary.org/teens.htm

Reading the opening chapter of Heroes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWoUyYBjknE