In the novel, October Sky, it is a story about a boy who has a dream to make rockets and not just be a coal miner. After graduating high school, the boys of Coalwood would normally go into the career of coal mining or be lucky enough to get a football scholarship. Sonny had no interest in coal mining and was not athletic; both of those choices were out of the picture for him. He is the son of Homer, a coal miner, and Elsie Hickam. He also has an older brother named Jim who was an amazing football player. Sonny and his five friends wanted to be something other than coal miners. They formed a group called the Big Creek Missile Agency aka the BCMA. The six of them worked very hard to learn calculus, test different types of fuels, and get a textbook about rockets for the school, to make the best rocket. Sonny was a product of the setting he made, he broke free from the Coalwood setting, and he ...view middle of the document...
You need to do everything you can to get out of here, starting right now.” She did not want her son to be stuck in Coalwood and have the only choice of being a coal miner as she wanted him to follow his dreams and not risk his life in the mine. Ever since his mother told him this he was not only working hard for himself to pursue his dream, but he was working hard for his mother as well. When the Sonny’s rockets started going very high, people were coming from all over town to watch the Rocket Boys launch rockets. Sonny felt special because he never got attention like this before. Later, his science teacher, Miss Riley, told him to enter the school science fair. Sonny made it up to the National Science Fair and won a gold and silver medal. He made his mother proud by his achievements. No matter what Sonny did his mom always supported him because she knew one day he will do something big and make her proud. Her only restriction for Sonny was “Don’t blow yourself up.” If Sonny did not follow his dreams and make his own setting, he would have never broke free from becoming a coal miner.
Sonny graduated high school and went off to college, “something not likely in Pre- Sputnik West Virginia.” He got a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and worked in the aviation industry. He made Coalwood not only famous for coal but also the Rocket Boys. He made it obvious you just don’t have to be a coal miner by being a boy of Coalwood. He showed that he could follow his dreams no matter how big they were. Sonny “had discovered that learning something, no matter how complex, wasn’t hard when” he “had a reason to want to know it.”
Sonny and the other Rocket Boys changed Coalwood. Without them Coalwood would have just have been known for coal mining. They broke the norm of becoming a coal miner and did something they dreamed of. Sonny has earned multiple honors and has written a New York Times Bestseller, October Sky aka The Rocket Boys, sharing his beautiful story with the world. Even his father admitted “Nobody ever launched a better rocket than you.”