#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “nostalgic and entertaining memoir” (People) about a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space—the inspiration for the film October Sky
“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
It was 1957, the year Sputnik raced across the Appalachian sky, and the small town of Coalwood, West Virginia, was slowly dying.
Faced with an uncertain future, Homer Hickam nurtured a dream: to send rockets into outer space. The introspective son of the mine’s superintendent and a mother determined to get him out of Coalwood forever, Homer fell in with a group of misfits who learned not only how to turn scraps of metal into sophisticated rockets but how to sustain their hope in a town that swallowed its men alive.
As the boys began to light up the tarry skies with their flaming projectiles and dreams of glory, Coalwood, and the Hickams, would never be the same.
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. Lush and lyrical, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir: A powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s, of a mother’s love and a father’s fears, and of growing up and getting out.