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We Are Not Afraid Paperback – February 1, 2002


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We Are Not Afraid + The Coalwood Way: A Memoir + Sky of Stone: A Memoir
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: HCI (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075730012X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757300127
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hickam's latest book is a little different from the other feel-good stories that emerged nationwide after the September 11 attacks. What sets his stories apart is where they all take place: the mining town of Coalwood, W.Va., the setting for his bestselling memoirs Sky of Stone and October Sky. In this inspirational guide to overcoming fear, Hickam shares anecdotes from his life, mainly having to do with the values he learned in the small, humble town of Coalwood. Each chapter explains one of the "Coalwood Attitudes" ("we are proud of who we are"; "we stand up for what we believe"; "we keep our families together"; and "we trust in God but rely on ourselves"); Hickam then finishes by delivering the kicker (or "The Coalwood Assumption," as he calls it): "we are not afraid." Although it would be easy to dismiss his yarns and advice as hokey or cutesy, Hickam's retelling of a wholesome upbringing in Coalwood is quite touching and heartening, providing assistance for the uncertainty many Americans have dealt with recently and will continue to face in the months ahead. "In today's world, fear seems to be everywhere," he writes. "If you want to stop being afraid... this book can help by teaching you a philosophy of life that will fill your heart and soul with a sense of well-being and confidence." Reading about how Hickam handled bullies in the fifth grade or how he didn't let fear overcome him while fighting in Vietnam may not change what happened last September, but it will give readers the gumption to persevere when the going gets rough. (Feb.)Forecast: It's obvious HCI is not afraid of betting on this book: they're planning a $100,000 ad campaign, a 20-city TV and radio satellite tour and appearances on morning news and daytime talk shows. The 400,000-copy first printing ensures they'll be ready for the run.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Homer Hickam is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller October Sky (aka Rocket Boys) which received a National Book Critics Circle nomination and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 1998. He is the author of the "Coalwood Trilogy" (October Sky, The Coalwood Way and Sky of Stone), Back to the Moon and Torpedo Junction. He is also a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, retired NASA engineer, an Olympic torch-bearer, and the holder of Alabama's highest award for heroism. He lives with his wife in Huntsville, Alabama. Click here to visit Homer Hickam's website.

More About the Author

Homer Hickam (also known as Homer H. Hickam, Jr.) is probably best known for his award-winning memoir Rocket Boys which was adapted into the ever-popular movie October Sky. Mr. Hickam has been a coal miner, Vietnam combat veteran, scuba instructor, NASA engineer, and now a best-selling author. For more information, please go to http://www.homerhickam.com.

Customer Reviews

He really hit me close to home with this one.
Jamie Donaldson
They make you laugh and then they make you think and you realize you've learned something really good!
Valerie Reznak
This book is the same although much different.
Trula Spring

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dodd on November 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Homer Hickam wrote a very enjoyable and informative book about his hometown of Coalwood, West Virginia, and the people who helped nurture him as a young boy. With his childhood stories, he took me on a journey through time to a place that many today would dismiss as "old-fashioned," and Hickam would argue was "the way things can and should be."
Inspired by the events of September 11, 2001, Hickam reflected on his youth and realized the values he grew up with in Coalwood were what many people needed to move on with their lives following the tragic terrorist attacks on America. Hickam expertly wove his thoughts and experiences into the four "Coalwood Attitudes of Strength and Courage" (We are proud of who we are, We stand up for what we believe, We keep our families together, and We trust in God but rely on ourselves), which led to the "Coalwood Assumption" that most Americans found themselves either wanting to say or saying repeatedly following 9/11: "We are not afraid."
In his introduction, Hickam explains the purpose of this book: "If you want to stop being afraid, or if you want to avoid the habits of fear and dread, this book can help by teaching you a philosophy of life that will fill your heart and soul with a sense of well-being and confidence. It is a philosophy that was developed by real people who led good, happy and hearty lives while managing to raise a crop of children who went on to have successful lives of their own."
Hickam is a master storyteller, and his stories contained many powerful moral and inspirational passages. Some I related to as personal memories, others as things I missed growing up or never thought about, and still others as a father wanting his young son to experience in his childhood.
This book has a lot to offer to many different people with many different needs in many different situations. I encourage everyone to read this book and let Hickam take you on a journey of discovery into your heart and soul.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Trula Spring on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I love all of Homer's books. With Rocket Boys, Coalwood Way, and Sky of Stone, it was as if I was living right there with the people of his little mining town. This book is the same although much different. Rather than a story that goes from beginning to the end, it is filled with the wisdom of a "people who always lived in perilous times." I didn't realize it but I am also a victim of long-term fear. Something always seemed to be holding me back from going to college, now that my children are out of the house. No more. Homer has shown me how to over come everything that has been keeping me from doing what I should, to really enjoy life. I am proud of who I am. I stand up for what I believe. I will keep my family together. I trust God but will rely on my self. I cried tears of joy reading this book, laughed out loud in so many places. It is a treasure of a book that you will never regret reading, learning, savoring for all the days of your life.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Hands down one of the greatest books I have ever read! Time to stop dreamin' and start taking some action. Homer Hickam has the gift of lifting you up higher than any mountain in West Virginia. I laughed and I cried...as I do through all of his books. But this one really grabbed my heart and made me realize that I am somebody too. We are truly lucky to have such a talent share his life (past/present) with us. If you are feeling blue or simply just down and out, I recommend that you read this book. I know that you will enjoy it as much as I did!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Reznak on February 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are so many self-help books out there that just give you a lot of mush and feel-good words that don't add up to something. This book actually tells you real stuff. It helped me understand how being afraid is more than what we usually think of as fear. It's what keeps us from being successful, or happy. Unless you understand what Homer calls long-term fear, you can't break out of it. I love the little stories Homer tells about the people back in Coalwood. They make you laugh and then they make you think and you realize you've learned something really good! Of all the self-help, inspirational books out there, this one will really help you to break loose from what's been holding you back even when you didn't realize it. And, folks, if you've got something scary to do, like flying on a plane for a long trip or something and you've been dreading it, read this book and I'll guarantee you that you won't be afraid. It's really kind of a miracle read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Billie Gray on June 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
The advice I found in this book has changed my life, too. Somebody told me I should read this when they caught be dragging around filled with worry. What can a little book do to change that I asked and they said well, just read it and see. The insights in this book have been just amazing. Homer teaches through stories that are fun to read but after you're done, you just sit back and go I really see that. I really, really do. Honestly, I've spent money on a lot of these selfhelp do better kind of books but the way Homer does it, I think I really got my money's worth this time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Donaldson on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
In my opinion Homer Hickam is one of the most well written authors of our time. He writes in a way that is interesting and personal. I recommend all of his books, but this one is GREAT. He really hit me close to home with this one.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jeanne-scott on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
We Are Not Afraid is a very inspiring book about strength and courage in perilous times. I think everyone who reads this will come away a stronger individual for it. If you have children, sons, daughters, nieces or nephews I think it is even more important to read this!!! The book was just such a "thinker". It is only 213 pages, it reads quickly but it lasts long after you close the cover.
While it is a collection of stories about growing up in a small coal-mining town in West Virginia it makes you stop and think hard about what really should be important in life, the values, the morals, the spirit, all the things that went into creating our great Nation. Mr. Hickam points out that yes times are perilous, but that there have been many perilous times and many hardships and challenges and being afraid is not a way to meet these. He pulls no punches when he discusses the United States of America. He dismisses those who want to focus on our failures as a Nation and fail to acknowledge our ability to correct our errors and move forward as a whole. This book is a life lesson on how not to live your life in fear, and how to overcome and surmount obstacles in your way. This is not accomplished by promising "pie-in-the-sky" but by learning from the examples of others ways to be strong and have courage and face life with your head up. This revolves around four important attitudes. #1 We are proud of who we are. #2 We stand up for what we believe. #3 We keep our families together. #4 We trust in God but rely on ourselves. These may sound simplistic to many people, but when they are broken down and explained you will know that it is possible to live a good purposeful life and not be diminished by fear and to pass this on to those around you.
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