Read Rocket Boys, Join the Michiana-wide Book Club

Our friends at the St. Joseph County Library are running a region-wide book club in the Michiana area. It’s happening right now. Here’s a guest post from Dawn, their Head of Acquisitions, describing the inspiring book they chose, and letting you know you can participate in the discussion.
- by Dawn Matthews

We’ve just launched into the celebration of our 2nd annual One Book, One Michiana, an event sponsored by the St. Joseph County Public Library (SJCPL). We are inviting everyone in the Michiana community to join us in reading this year’s selection Rocket Boys or watching the movie based on the book, October Sky.

This amazing memoir written by Homer Hickam is about growing up in the coal-mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, during the 1950s. Homer is the son of the coal mine’s superintendent, and it is expected that he will follow in his father’s footsteps. However, one fateful night in October, Homer sees Sputnik passing overhead, and from that moment he dreams of a life not in the coalmines but of flying a rocket into space. Homer gets his friends together, and they form the Big Creek Missile Agency (BCMA) to create their own rockets. They begin by blowing up his mom’s new picket fence, and other disasters follow. One by one, various people of the community rally behind these young boys, helping them succeed. Miss Freida Riley was the inspirational chemistry and physics teacher who challenged the Rocket Boys to overcome adversity. A favorite quote of hers was “All I’ve done is give you a book. You have to have the courage to learn what’s inside it.”

We invite you, from April 1 through May 7, to read the book or watch the movie and attend several of our community events and programs. This past Saturday, April 2, there was a rocket launch and an Edible Book Festival to launch our One Book celebration. Over the next few weeks there will be star gazing, a memoir writing workshop, book discussions, movie screenings, crafts—all unique events you won’t want to miss.

The whole community is joining in the fun. Visit our web site to find out more about the festivities: http://www.sjcpl.org/onebook/.

We are grateful to our community partner Better World Books for their donation of 100 copies of Rocket Boys. Readers at Center for the Homeless, Robinson Community Learning Center, St. Margaret’s House, Hope Ministries, and others are reading these books and joining our One Book, One Michiana. We also invite you to join us.

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