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The Coalwood Way (The Coalwood Series #2)


The Coalwood Way (The Coalwood Series #2)

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Reading Group Guide

When Homer "Sonny"
Hickam soared into the skies and our hearts in ROCKET BOYS, we
caught a glimpse of the optimism and faith that helped an unlikely
group of boys launch rockets and, ultimately, their careers from a
poor West Virginia coal town. The New York Times bestselling
book was renamed to coincide with the award-winning movie based on
the novel, OCTOBER SKY.

It is now 1959. The Rocket Boys are still perfecting their handmade
rockets and, as high school seniors, preparing for their futures.
Homer is determined to prove to his father that he is college
material, but with the mine perilously close to running out of coal
and shutting down, the prospects for the future of any of
Coalwood's children is bleak. Miners have lost their jobs and
homes, public services have been cut to residences in the outlying
areas, and Homer's father is faced with initiating an extremely
dangerous and controversial new mining method in order to save the
town and the mine from oblivion. Homer's mother feels increasingly
cut off from her husband and the townspeople as her role as the
mine superintendent's wife places her at odds with the wives of the
union workers.  

Optimism is hard to come by in the bleak winter months of the last
year of the 1950s, and Homer is overcome with an overriding sense
of gloom with his future so uncertain. The faith and hope of these
hard working people, however, form the basis for an uplifting
memoir, as Sonny and his friends resurrect the Spirit of Christmas
when Coalwood need is the most.

Hickam's storytelling talent brings to life the characters from his
hard-scrabble childhood in a touching tale that evokes the mood of
the mid-20th Century. Sonny learns to see his parents in an
entirely different light as events unfold. He moves from childhood
to young manhood in a few short months as Coalwood's unique way of
life is buffeted by forces of time and change. THE COALWOOD WAY
reminds us all of the importance of keeping dreams

Reviewed by Roz Shea (HOST BKPG ROZ)   on January 21, 2011

The Coalwood Way (The Coalwood Series #2)
by Homer Hickam

  • Publication Date: October 10, 2000
  • Genres: Autobiography, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • ISBN-10: 0385335164
  • ISBN-13: 9780385335164