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

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It's fall, 1959, and Homer "Sonny" Hickam and his fellow Rocket Boys are in their senior year at Big Creek High, launching handbuilt rockets that soar thousands of feet into the West Virginia sky. But in a season traditionally marked by celebrations of the spirit, Coalwood finds itself at a painful crossroads.

The strains can be felt within the Hickam home, where a beleaguered HomerSr. is resorting to a daring but risky plan to keep the mine alive, and his wife Elsie is feeling increasingly isolated from both her family and the townspeople. And Sonny, despite a blossoming relationship with a local girl whose dreams are as big as his, finds his own mood repeatedly darkened by an unexplainable sadness.

Eager to rally the town's spirits and make her son's final holiday season at home a memorable one, Elsie enlists Sonny and the Rocket Boys' aid in making the Coalwood Christmas Pageant the best ever. But trouble at the mine and the arrival of a beautiful young outsider threaten to tear the community apart when it most needs to come together. And when disaster strikes at home, and Elsie's beloved pet squirrel escapes under his watch, Sonny realizes that helping his town and redeeming himself in his mother's eyes may be a bigger-and more rewarding-challenge than he has ever faced.

The result is pure storytelling magic- a tale of small-town parades and big-hearted preachers, the timeless love of families and unforgettable adventures of boyhood friends-that could only come from the man who brought the world Rocket Boys

From the Hardcover edition.

About Homer Hickam

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Homer Hickam is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Rocket Boys, which was made into the acclaimed movie October Sky. He is also the author of the best-seller Torpedo Junction, The Keeper's Son, The Ambassador's Son, the award-winning memoir Sky of Stone, and the bestseller Back to the Moon. He is married to Linda Terry Hickam. Visit for more information.
Published December 18, 2007 by Island Books. 402 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A number of strains play themselves out against the background malaise: the mother’s desire to flee Coalwood, the little cruelties of small-town life balanced by little acts of kindness, the gamble taken in reopening a jinxed shaft, and the author’s hurtful relationship with his father (a distant...

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Publishers Weekly

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Not really a sequel to Hickam's first memoir, Rocket Boys (which was made into the successful movie, October Sky, and dealt primarily with his gang of misfit friends and their inventive, adventurous exploits) this book, set around Christmas 1959, is a study of the town of Coalwood and how a fast-...

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Book Reporter

• Read an Excerpt • 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.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coalwood Way (The Coalwoo...

Entertainment Weekly

Rocket Boys, Homer Hickam's first memoir (the inspiration for the movie October Sky), was a story of American endeavor that verged on parable: The sons of West Virginia coal miners earnestly turn their trajectories skyward, spurred by Sputnik to build homemade rockets and launch themselves out of...

Nov 17 2000 | Read Full Review of The Coalwood Way (The Coalwoo...

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