October Sky Essay

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Throughout the summer of 1958, explosions rocked the hills and hollows near Coalwood, West Virginia. The first blasts terrified miners and their families. Had the mine blown up? Were the Russians attacking? But when the echoes died away, folks shrugged and said, "It's just those damn rocket boys!" The book seems to have the required elements; a noble, inquisitive young kid overcoming hurdles placed in front of him by family, location and education to achieve success, both in the short and long term. Throw in a little danger, teen-age angst, and a sexual coming-of-age subplot, and all the required elements for an engrossing story are there. Despite Hickam's less than stellar prose, the story manages to effectively convey a bittersweet…show more content…
Then they selected the perfect launch site, and accompanied by the obligatory countdown, sent Hickam's mother's rose garden fence streaking toward the stars. Repeated efforts by both rocket programs were finally rewarded by successes, and soon Hickam and his team of classmates were reaching higher and higher into the sky with their home made rockets. With each launch, Hickam and his partners refine their designs, especially of the crucial rocket nozzle, which directs the rocket exhaust and produces its propulsion. For Hickam, the day of enlightenment was Oct. 5, 1957. That was the day his mother roused him from a Saturday morning slumber to listen to something scary on the radio. It was nothing but a steady beepbeep-beep, but the announcer said it was coming from something deep in outer space that was called Sputnik. "What is this thing, Sonny?'' asked his

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