Monday, August 20, 2007

Rocket Boys

Well, tonight I finished reading Rocket Boys, by Homer H. Hickam, Jr. That means (lucky you) that it is time for another amateur book review! I picked this one up at Borders back in May while browsing a section labeled "Local Summer Reading Selections." I remembered enjoying the movie October Sky, which was based on the book - so I decided it would be my summer reading pick!

The first chapter was engaging. Sonny (he calls himself by his boyhood nickname) begins by crediting his grade school teachers for inspiring him to read (gotta love that!) and become interested in the very new "space race." I admit that the next several chapters moved a little more slowly and I struggled with my commitment to finish the book.

About midway through, however, things picked up. The storyline enveloped me and I found myself transported to late 1950s West Virginia. Hickam's very readable style made me feel like one of the gang and even made me want to brush up on my math and physics! (The same way Grisham made me love baseball in A Painted House and Bryson made me want to walk the AT in A Walk in the Woods.) The story is a blend of science, adventure, relationships (in particlular Sonny's strained relationship with his coal-mining father,) and the sometimes hard realities of life. It is an inspirational tale of triumph through passion and hard work. A good read!

I will give one caution: Even though Rocket Boys is on many HS reading lists, there are several episodes depicting typical 1950s teen-aged worldliness. I suggest reading it yourself to decide if it's appropriate for your child to read. That said, however, these few scenes do not detract from the inspiring story of one young man working hard to obtain a dream.



Mary@notbefore7 said...

Thanks for the review - I love to read. Stop by my blog - I left you something :)

Kate said...

Loved that movie. (But that's totally me - see movie first, then maybe read the book!)