October Sky

Homer Hickam

Published by Perfection Learning
ISBN 10: 0780799984 / ISBN 13: 9780780799981
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Synopsis: 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.

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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: October Sky
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Book Condition: Very Good

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Homer Hickam
Published by Perfection Learning
ISBN 10: 0780799984 ISBN 13: 9780780799981
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Homer Hickam
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Homer Hickam
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