The story of the Rocket Boys is a celebration of teachers, especially those who emulate Miss Freida Riley and work so hard to educate the youth of our nation.
We honor and thank all of you for this investment in our future.
".... you inspierd me and i hope you can keep on inspiring kids my age because of u i drop out of a gang thank you homer"
We are thrilled to hear from over 300 schools a year who are studying Homer's books and movie.
Thank you to all the kind teachers in the Letter section on the right here, who gave permission to reprint their special letters about their wonderful experiences with the Rocket Boys' story in their classrooms.
We are always excited when schools study the BOOK, as it is the true story of the SIX Rocket Boys.
We love the movie October Sky and worked very hard helping Universal Studios make it, but the movie has taken a lot of liberties with the true story.
The book is always better!
Free classroom material is available for you to use on the links to the right.
"Welcome to Coalwood", a wonderful website by Steve Date about
Coalwood and Homer and the Rocket Boys.
Please look over our extensive website. In particular, see:
- About Homer - biography, interviews, and much more
- FAQ - answers to every question Homer can think of
- Coalwood, West Virginia - Then and Now, lots of photos and links
- Students - report help, links
A prodigious site to see how to study October Sky is Dr. Z's Education Website at Binghamton High School.
The High School Teachers at Random House site is improved! Free teacher guides (featuring October Sky!) and author profiles. Have fun finding interesting books for all reading levels, and learn about great books for educators just like you!
For Classroom Sets of Homer's books, please inquire with Shavers Books.
The www.therocketman.net website has a wealth of information about
rockets for teachers in the areas of science, technology and math by
providing workshops, curriculum, classroom activity outlines and access
to technical-oriented publications.
The "Adventures in Rocket Science Educator Guide" is now available for
download from the NASA website here.
The NASA Explorers Institute funding the development of this model
rocketry guidebook for teachers. Directed by the MSFC Academic Affairs
Office, education specialists created the curriculum with members of the
National Association of Rocketry (NAR). The material was tested in a
workshop pairing NAR members in the MSFC area with informal educators
from science centers, 4-H clubs, Girl Scout troops and after school
programs to introduce the groups to how to use the guidebook with
students in informal settings. The Guide has activities for grades K-12
and serves as a program to progressively prepare students for
participating in TARC.
Please see the Home page for info on how to purchase autographed books from Shaver's Bookstore.
If you are a teacher and would like an autographed photo of Homer for your school or class, please send a request on your school letterhead and a SASE (8 1/2 X 11 manila envelope and oversize postage).
Please be patient, these letters are forwarded and it takes a long time for them to reach Homer.
Unfortunately, we cannot send out autographs to individuals.
If we did, that's all we would have time to do!
2124 Cecil Ashburn Dr
Huntsville, AL 35802
Although Homer would love to be more available, he stays awfully busy writing. Please see the About Homer and Contact Us page for more about this.
CLASS MAIL TO HOMER
Please understand that although Homer reads every letter he gets, he cannot respond personally to them or he would never have time to write another word!
The best way to get a nice and timely response from Homer and his wife and assistant Linda, is for the teacher to gather everything together that the class wants to send and either email or snail mail it to us in one batch so we know who it is from and what they are doing with the Rocket Boys story. We will get you a reply and autographed photo and letter from Homer as soon as we possible, but please be patient as Homer receives over 50 nice letters a day! Contact Us page has addresses for each contact situation. Email is very appreciated rather than snail mail and is answered MUCH quicker.
IS THE BOOK CALLED OCTOBER SKY OR ROCKET BOYS?
The names are confusing to some, so let us explain. The actual title of Homer's first memoir is Rocket Boys and it is the one he prefers. However, Universal Studios decided, for marketing reasons, to change the name of the movie based on the book. After much deliberation, Universal discovered that October Sky was an anagram of Rocket Boys (if you move the letters of Rocket Boys around, they spell out October Sky). Since Sputnik flew through the October sky when Homer (Sonny) first saw it, the movie studio latched onto the new title. The mass market movie tie-in paperback, the one with the orange and black cover, is the only version of the memoir which is titled October Sky. October Sky and Rocket Boys are both the same book ... and the same letters too!
Any letters or suggestions for additions to this website to help you and your students study and enjoy the Rocket Boys story are welcome and appreciated. Please write Linda Hickam LTHickam@homerhickam.com.