Rocket Boys: A Memoir (The Coalwood Series #1)

4.18 avg rating
( 13,031 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385333207: Rocket Boys: A Memoir (The Coalwood Series #1)

"Until I began to build and launch rockets, I didn't know my home town was at war with itself over its children, and that my parents were locked in a kind of bloodless combat over how my brother and I would live our lives. I didn't know that if a girl broke your heart, another girl, virtuous at least in spirit, could mend it on the same night. And I didn't know that the enthalpy decrease in a converging passage could be transformed into jet kinetic energy if a divergent passage was added. The other boys discovered their own truths when we built our rockets, but those were mine."

So begins Homer "Sonny" Hickam Jr.'s extraordinary memoir of life in Coalwood, West Virginia-a hard-scrabble little company town where the only things that mattered were coal mining and high school football. But in 1957, after the Soviet satellite Sputnik shot across the Appalachian sky, Sonny and his teenaged friends decided to do their bit for the U.S. space race by building their own rockets—and Coalwood, Sonny and A powerful story of growing up and of getting out, of a mother's love and a father's fears, Homer Hickam's memoir Rocket Boys proves, like Angela's Ashes and Russell Baker's Growing Up before it, that the right storyteller and the right story can touch readers' hearts and enchant their souls.

In a town where the only things that mattered were coal-mining and high-school football, where the future was regarded with more fear than hope, a young man watched the Soviet satellite Sputnik race across the West Virginia sky—and soon found his future in the stars. In 1957, Homer H. "Sonny" Hickam, Jr., and a handful of his friends were inspired to start designing and launching the home-made rockets that would change their lives and their town forever.

Looking back after a distinguished NASA career, Hickam shares the story of his youth, taking readers into the life of the little mining town of Coalwood and the boys who would come to embody its dreams. Step by step, with the help (and occasional hindrance) of a collection of unforgettable characters, the boys learn not only how to turn scrap into sophisticated rockets that fly miles into the sky, but how to sustain their dreams as they dared to imagine a life beyond its borders in a town that the postwar boom was passing by.

Rocket Boys has already caught the eye of Hollywood: The producer of Field of Dreams is now working to produce a major motion picture in time for next year's Academy Awards.

A uniquely endearing story with universal themes of class, family, coming of age, and the thrill of discovery, Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys is evocative, vivid storytelling at its most magical.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Inspired by Werner von Braun and his Cape Canaveral team, 14-year-old Homer Hickam decided in 1957 to build his own rockets. They were his ticket out of Coalwood, West Virginia, a mining town that everyone knew was dying--everyone except Sonny's father, the mine superintendent and a company man so dedicated that his family rarely saw him. Hickam's smart, iconoclastic mother wanted her son to become something more than a miner and, along with a female science teacher, encouraged the efforts of his grandiosely named Big Creek Missile Agency. He grew up to be a NASA engineer and his memoir of the bumpy ride toward a gold medal at the National Science Fair in 1960--an unprecedented honor for a miner's kid--is rich in humor as well as warm sentiment. Hickam vividly evokes a world of close communal ties in which a storekeeper who sold him saltpeter warned, "Listen, rocket boy. This stuff can blow you to kingdom come." Hickam is candid about the deep disagreements and tensions in his parents' marriage, even as he movingly depicts their quiet loyalty to each other. The portrait of his ultimately successful campaign to win his aloof father's respect is equally affecting. --Wendy Smith

From the Publisher:

"[T]horoughly charming....Hickam builds a story of overcoming obstacles that is worthy of Frank Capra...[in its]...eloquent evocation of a lost time and place."
--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Hickam, Homer
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 1998. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KB-9780385333207

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.01
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Homer Hickam
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
LVeritas
(Newton, MA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Bookseller Inventory # 36SDH6000MB0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Hickam, Homer
Published by Delacorte Press
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Delacorte Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 038533320X *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2122547633

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 18.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Homer H. Hickam
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (1998)
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Looking back after a distinguished NASA career that fulfilled his boyhood ambition, Hickam shares the story of his youth, taking readers into the life of the little mining town and the boys who came to embody both its tensions and its dreams. With the help -- and sometimes hindrance -- of the people of Coalwood, the Rocket Boys learn not only how to turn mine scraps into rockets that soar miles into the heavens, but how to find hope in a town that progress is passing by. A uniquely American memoir, Rocket Boys is at once an inspiring chronicle of triumph and a luminous story of a mother s love, a father s fears, and a young man s coming of age. With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam beautifully captures a moment when a dying town, a divided family, and a band of teenage dreamers dared to look beyond their differences and set their sights on the stars -- and saw a future that the nation was just beginning to imagine. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780385333207

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 23.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Homer Hickam
Published by Delacorte Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Delacorte Press, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # BKTY9780385333207

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Homer H. Hickam
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (1998)
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Looking back after a distinguished NASA career that fulfilled his boyhood ambition, Hickam shares the story of his youth, taking readers into the life of the little mining town and the boys who came to embody both its tensions and its dreams. With the help -- and sometimes hindrance -- of the people of Coalwood, the Rocket Boys learn not only how to turn mine scraps into rockets that soar miles into the heavens, but how to find hope in a town that progress is passing by. A uniquely American memoir, Rocket Boys is at once an inspiring chronicle of triumph and a luminous story of a mother s love, a father s fears, and a young man s coming of age. With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam beautifully captures a moment when a dying town, a divided family, and a band of teenage dreamers dared to look beyond their differences and set their sights on the stars -- and saw a future that the nation was just beginning to imagine. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780385333207

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 26.57
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Homer Hickam
Published by Delacorte Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Delacorte Press, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M038533320X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 27.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Homer Hickam
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97803853332070000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 29.72
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Homer Hickam
Published by Delacorte Press
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ohmsoft LLC
(Lake Forest, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Delacorte Press. Book Condition: New. Worldwide shipping. FREE fast shipping inside USA (express 2-day delivery also available). Tracking service included. Ships from United States of America. Bookseller Inventory # 038533320X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 31.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Homer Hickam
Published by Delacorte Pubns Inc (1998)
ISBN 10: 038533320X ISBN 13: 9780385333207
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Delacorte Pubns Inc, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. first edition. 384 pages. 9.75x6.50x1.25 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # z-038533320X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.51
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book