attended Parochial SchoolNuns gave him a terrible time. In eighth grade, he watched from his classroom window as his own house caught fire and burned. Teacher refused to let him go to see if his family was safe until he had said the requisite prayers.
Had first published poem in the 7th gradeWrote commercials and worked as journalistFirst MAJOR novel was The Chocolate War in 1973.
The Chocolate War won several awards including The New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year.Was made into a movie in 1988
criticized for bleak portrayals of adolescenceBanned from some school libraries because of disturbing themes
QUOTESyoung people today are exposed to so much information, they are probably more demanding in terms of realism.
QUOTESa controversial book belongs in the classroom where it can be discussed, where a teacher can guide the students, where, in fact, a student can get up in class or write a paper saying that he or she doesn't like the book and objects to facets of it. That's the kind of freedom that we must preserve.
OTHER WORKSI Am The CheeseAfter The First DeathBeyond the Chocolate Warsequel to The Chocolate War