Set in the late 1950s and based on a true story, “October Sky”describes the coal mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia. High schooler Homer Hickam sees the Soviet satellite, Spudtnik, racing through the sky and becomes fascinated by rockets. Homer and three of his friends decide to build their own rocket.
Although the boys are encouraged by a teacher, Homer's coal miner father wants him to stop the “nonsense” and join him in working at the mines. The amateur rocket designers manage to overcome that and other adversities to make their dream come true.
The film is rated PG for some bad language and mild violence, but I wouldn't hesitate to show it to boys of all ages. The movie's overriding theme of working hard and never giving up in the pursuit of your dream will motivate and inspire them.
The author, Homer Hickam, graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Industrial Engineering. After serving in the U.S. Army and working for the U.S. Army Missile Command, Mr. Hickam was employed by NASA–truly becoming a Rocket Boy. He has written numerous other books.
My husband and I were privileged to hear Mr. Hickam speak at a library in 2005. We personally met him at a reception prior to the talk and discovered that he lives in a town close to my hometown. Ahh, the benefits of being the president of the Friends of the Library! 🙂
Yours in Scouting,
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