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A uniquely American memoir, October Sky (formerly titled 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. Looking back after a distinguished NASA career that fulfilled his boyhood ambition, Homer 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, but how to find hope in a town that progress is passing by.
"As a community college, many students come to us underprepared and lacking in self-confidence, and October Sky offers encouragement in a way that teachers can't. Not only are the students reading good prose, but knowing it is a true story brings alive their own hopes and dreams. When writing about it, some identify with Homer, but others with Quentin, Roy Lee, Sherman, O¹Dell, and Billy. I heartily recommend the book to teachers."—Moselle Ford, professor, Amarillo College, Amarillo, TX
An instructor's guide for October Sky can be found on the Random House site at www.randomhouse.com/BB/teachers. In addition, more can be found out about the author, Homer Hickam and his continuing memoir at www.homerhickam.com.