In most of his novels the protagonists do not win. He was concerned with the problems facing young people in modern society which was reflected in his novels. "Cormier's brilliantly crafted and troubling novels have achieved the status of classics in young adult literature.
The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. In most of his novels the protagonists do not win. His books often are concerned with themes such as abuse mental illness violence revenge betrayal and conspiracy.