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Cormier Counseling Teachers and Learners
Concetta T. Lee's letter to Robert Cormier
This two-page, typed letter from Florida teacher, Concetta T. Lee, dated April 16, 1996, asks Robert Cormier about Tunes for Bears to Dance To. She undertook a rather extensive search of YA novels to find one that fit her criteria. She asks about Mr. Hairston's ethnic identity and the actual geographic locations of Frenchtown and Monument Beach.
Robert Cormier's response to Concetta Lee
In this one-page, typed letter dated April 26, 1996, Robert Cormier responds to Florida teacher, Concetta T. Lee. He explains that Hairston is a non-ethnic name that coveys ugliness yet is not a name anyone local might think is theirs. He describes Monument as a combination of Leominster and Fitchburg. Moreover, he thanks her for her work and expresses satisfaction that his book, Tunes for Bears to Dance To, is provoking deep thinking in her students.
Robert Cormier's draft response to Rebecca Pace
In this drafted letter, Robert Cormier thanks Rebecca for her correspondence. He shares how glad he is that the novel has helped her to understand different viewpoints and perspectives. He explains how seeing something from another person's point of view is essential to understanding her humanity. He closes by explaining the death of the character, Kate.
The trapping of children into evil acts is a timeless theme still played out in literature and film today. This New York Times review of a made-for-Netflix video entitled, "Review: 'Beasts of No Nation' A Brutal Tale of Child Soldiers in Africa", from October 15, 2015, was written by A. O. Scott.
Here, too, is a New York Times Sunday Book Review, by William Boyd from February 27, 2007 called, ironically, "Babes in Arms" about the acclaimed Ishmael Beah's memoir, A Long Way Gone. This novel is about Beah's own horrific experience as a conscripted child soldier.