Terrorism and Extremism in the Classroom
Mrs. Barbara Anti's letter to Robert Cormier
Mrs. Anti writes of her students' interest and enthusiasm for Robert Cormier's book After the First Death. She invites him to speak to the class, promising a captivated audience, gas mileage, and a school lunch.
Mrs. Anti's Class Newspaper Project on After the First Death
Hallowell Highlights is a student-generated newspaper for the fictional Hallowell, Massachusetts with mock interviews of characters from After the First Death, along with news reports covering the terrorist attack and Ben Marchand's shooting. Other newspaper staples like an editorial and events calendar appear in the project.
Robert Cormier's letter to Mrs. Anti
In this one-page typed letter, Robert Cormier addresses the teacher of a class of student who has sent him their projects. He wrote back to them, and as a cover, included this cover letter to their teacher, Mrs. Anti. Generously, he offers to conduct a telephone conference with the class (and he provided Mrs. Anti with his home phone number) as his schedule did not permit him to accept their invitation to visit. As is customary, Cormier conveys deep satisfaction that he was instrumental in vitalizing these youths' reading lives, and he conveys the greatest respect to Mrs. Anti for creating curricular space in which students could meaningfully engage with literature.
Robert Cormier's response to Mrs. Anti's class
In this letter to Mrs. Anti's class, Cormier answers many questions posed by the students. First, he outlines how he got the idea for the novel. As in other letters, Cormier cites his life as a news reporter and his proximity to Fort Devens - as well as his thoughts on terrorism. He goes onto address his interest in the Abrahman-Isaac story, specifically the elements of sacrifice, patriotism, and extremism. He then moves onto discuss some of the psychoanalytic aspects of the characters and situations - like the schizophrenic characters - present in the novel.
Skyping with an author has become an accepted and frequent way authors and their readers can connect. This is but one website from a search for "Young Adult authors visiting classrooms".