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Rocket Boys (The Coalwood Series #1) Paperback – January 11, 2000
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"A thoroughly charming memoir...[an] eloquent evocation of a lost time and place. . . . Mr. Hickam builds a story of overcoming obstacles worthy of Frank Capra, especially in its sweetness and honest sentimentality."
—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"[Hickam] is a very adept storyteller--.--.--.--It's a good bet this is the story as he told it to himself. It is a lovely one, and in the career of Homer H. Hickam, Jr., who prevailed over the facts of his life to become a NASA engineer training astronauts for space walks, that made all the difference."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Hickam has a great story to tell. . . . Rocket Boys will certainly strike a nostalgic chord in anyone who grew up during the early days of the space race, but its appeal goes beyond that. . . . Hickam's recollections of small-town America in the last years of small-town America are so cinematic that even those of us who didn't grow up there might imagine we did."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A stirring tale that offers something unusual these days . . . a message of hope in an age of cynicism. . . . Perhaps we all have something to learn from a half-dozen boys who dared to reject all limitations . . . and resolved to send dreams roaring to the sky."
—The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Unforgettable . . . Unlike so many memoirs, this book brings to life more than one man's experiences. It brings to life the lost town of Coalwood, W.Va."
From the Inside Flap
The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir--a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space . . . and who made those dreams come true.
With the grace of a natural storyteller, NASA engineer Homer Hickam paints a warm, vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive. A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph--at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining.
Now with 8 pages of photographs.
A number-one New York Times bestseller in mass market, brought to the screen in the acclaimed film October Sky, Homer Hickam's memoir, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, comes to trade paperback with an all-new photo insert.
One of the most beloved bestsellers in recent years, ROCKET BOYS is a uniquely American memoir. A powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s, it is the story of a mother's love and a father's fears, of growing up and getting out. With the grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam looks back after a distinguished NASA career to tell his own true story of growing up in a dying coal town and of how, against the odds, he made his dreams of launching rockets into outer space come true.
A story of romance and loss and a keen portrait of life at an extraordinary point in American history, ROCKET BOYS is a chronicle of triumph. -->
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Reading any book together that inspired the Dad movies has not ever been part of the tradition, (that one is mine alone). And Rocket Boys (RB) is no exception. I bought RB after seeing OS, for I was very much interested in seeing just what liberties were taken with the theatrical version. Not only that, but I was also so fascinated with this truly amazing real life story, that I couldn't wait to read all the furthur details of Homer Hickam and the rocket boys life and times. I really do not want this to be just another review where I talk about Hickam's writing style, his portrayal of characters, or the differences between his book, and the movie. Let it suffice that if you loved OS and just felt at the end of it that you wished it could have just continued on a while longer, than Rocket Boys is something you should definitely take the time to read. Basically it follows the movie very well, except like any book that inspires a movie version, there is a tremendous amount of more, and greater detail about everything. Hickam's home life, the relationship with his brother, and girls, his trials and tribulations with designing and building his rocket, along with the true story of his trip to the science fair finals. If everything that is in the book was included in the movie, it would have been at least twice as long as it was. Which for those of us that loved the movie, would have been just fine.
If you are someone that is fortunate enough to have a tradition such as mine, or are just someone that loved October Sky for just the wonderful, heart warming, intricate portrayal that it was, I urge you to pick up a copy of Rocket Boys. The last thing this true story is, is one of those books that is so different from the movie that you will find yourself disappointed. It will not in any way portray anything that you are not already familiar with, transport you to a different place, or introduce you to any new characters that will leave you abandoned from what the movies visuals instilled in you. It is basically October Sky, the complete story. Highly recommended...