October Sky

November 3, 2008
By Stacy Rutherford, Blountville, TN

Have you have dreame of going into space? Well that dream came true for some West Virginia boys. The book is called October sky and it's about five boys who saw the Russian satellite Putnik, which happened to be launched in October, hence the name of the book. The book is a true story based in Coalwood, West Virginia in the 1950's and 1960's. Homer or Sonny, as they called him in the book, has a dream to get out of Coalwood and so does his brother and mother. Unlike his ftaher, he desperately wants to leave.

The movie "October Sky" is very different from the book. Don't get me wrong, I loved both the book and the movie and I'm personally not one to read. The movie shows more passion on how hard coal mining really is and the physically damaging affects of work in the mines. It also shows how big an event the launch of Sputnik was to everyone and how worried people became when Russia appered to be way ahead of the United States in space. The five boys in the moive show how hard they worked to build the rockets and how tough their lives really were.

The book, on the other hand, it gives expression to how the boys felt because it was written by one of the rocket boys himself, Homer Hickam. In reading, I felt that his father had no heart for anything except the mine and probably lived the mine more than the family. Elsie, his Mother, was a nice and calm woman. She had dreams for her boys to go to college and get out of Coalwood, because she knew how bad the mines really were for her boys and everyone else. Mining was a rough life. The Coalwood people did not have it easy. When Sputnik came over no one could believe it! Sonny worked so hard, but finally accomplished what he wanted with the rockets they had designed and built. The rocket boys brought Coalwood together during a mine strike. It was amazing how one boy lost his nozzles at the science fair and as a result the whole town came together.

Finally the rocket boys got to spave. Sonny put the nozzles and their award, a medal, that they won at the National Science Fair into a space capsule. The rocket boys all graduated from college. Quentin became a Chemical Engineer in the oil industry. Roy Lee is an auto dealer and retired banker. O'Dell is a rancher and owner of an insurance agency. Elsie Hickam retired to Myrtle Beach in 1979. John Hickam died of black lung in Myrtle Beach. The beloved teacher, Mrs. Riley, died at the age of thirty-one, from Hodgkin's Disease. Homer Hickam became a NASA engineer, training astronauts for space shuttle missions. Like Elsie had predicted, in 1965 the Coalwood mine was sold and then closed. The rocket boys are always remembered in Coalwood and beyond for their commitment to a new science and sticking to their hopes and plans even when it was tough to do so.

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This article has 1 comment.

lilly said...
on Oct. 7 2014 at 11:38 am
Next time please go over things before you post them.

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