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The Space Forum

for March 31, 1999

Rocket Boys: Book and Movie

In December 1998:Mike Saler posted a "heads up" on a new book of interest

Has anyone read the new memoir Rocket Boys? It's about the high school years of a boy growing up in a small West Virginia coal-mining town in the fifties. When he and his friends here about Sputnik, they become obsessed with launching their own rockets as a way to leave the town and "join" Werner von Braun's attempts to create rockets that will leave the earth. While there are only scant references to "Space Heroes" outside of written sf, the book evokes the "sense of wonder" of the early years of space research, and also is a moving depiction of the best and worst of small-town, working-class life in the fifties. I recommend it to everyone who loves this site.

Posted by Chuck Lassen on January 25, 1999

I second the motion! I saw the book quite by accident in a store before Christmas and picked up a copy. Just started reading it, and after the first couple of chapters, I am hooked on it. I can relate to the whole premise. I am about the same age as the author, and likewise, with my buddies, experimented with home-made rockets with disastrous results. (We once blew a huge hole in a private pier on the Lake Michigan shoreline!)

We're lucky no one was maimed or killed!

Posted by Ed Pippin on January 26, 1999

I need to read this book!! Did about the same as a kid, however, we were in a wooded area of Williamsburg and almost burned down one of the Historic areas :-)

Posted by Cadet Chuck on February 16, 1999

"October Sky", a new film based on Homer H. Hickam Jr.'s book, "Rocket Boys", is coming soon to a theater near you.

The book is great, hope the movie is, too. "Don't miss it!"

Posted by Sheila Carlson on February 24, 1999

I saw the movie "October Sky" and the story about Homer Hickham. I was interested in the story because I grew up in a small mining mountain in Kentucky. I could sure identify with Homer and the hardships of growing up in a small town. He accomplished a lot more than I did. It warms my heart to see people such as Homer make it out of poverty and hardship.

Posted by Sheri Stachlewitz

I have not read the book as yet. I do want to though. I saw the movie, "October Sky" and was impressed with it. Homer Hickham was on site as a technical advisor for this movie, so I am sure he made sure that it followed his life closely. The movie was taken from his book, but not all of it. Just the most important parts about the rockets and the science fair. I plan on getting the book to read it, soon. Just a note, at the end of the movie, there are some actual home films of the boys and Homer as an adult.

Posted by S. Starr

I just wanted to say that my son(age almost 11) my husband and I saw the movie about the 'Rocket Boys" and found it be to one the best movies I ever saw. My son is very much interested in flight and space and he sat very attentatively and cried with the rest of us at the pride and determination the boys had while achieving the goal. I encourage my son to follow the same way because he does get the same type of kidding those boys received. The movies contained so many attributes that we see lacking in so many of our kids today.Job well done!
S. Starr

Posted by ilka lazaroff

Just saw the movie. We laughed, we cried, it is great! Don't miss it!

Posted by Michael

I just watched October Sky It is a good movie. Does anyone know where I can find the book? Please E-mail me if u do.

( Both Barnes and Noble Stores and website have the book. website will also ship the book to you. Cadet Ed)

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