Adults (Ages 13+)

“Rocket Boys”
by Homer H. Hickam, Jr.

rocket boys

About the Book

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.

With the grace of a natural storyteller, Homer 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 come true. Homer 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.

A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer’s lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph — at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining.

Adapted from Barnes &

Home Hickman

About the Author

Homer H. Hickam, Jr. was born on February 19, 1943, and grew up in Coalwood, West Virginia. He graduated from Big Creek High School in 1960 and from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) in 1964 with a BS degree in Industrial Engineering. He is a Vietnam vet, having served with the U.S. Army for six years.

Homer worked as an engineer for the U.S. Army Missile Command from 1971 to 1981 and as an aerospace engineer for NASA from 1981-1998, specializing in spacecraft design and crew training. During that time he began his prolific writing career, which includes a series of books about Coalwood as well as numerous novels.

In addition to writing, Homer enjoys SCUBA diving, jogging and amateur paleontology. He and his wife, Linda, share their time between homes in Alabama and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Where to Find “Rocket Boys”

The Wauwatosa Public Library
Paperback, Large Print and CD versions are available.
7635 West North Avenue

Little Read Book
Mention Tosa’s All-City Read for a 15% discount.
7603 West State Street


“Rocket Boys” is also available in mass market paperback as “October Sky.”