Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Rocket Boys: Context
Rocket Boys: Plot Summary
Rocket Boys: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Rocket Boys: Themes
Rocket Boys: Quotes
Rocket Boys: Characters
Rocket Boys: Symbols
Rocket Boys: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Homer Hickam
Historical Context of Rocket Boys
Other Books Related to Rocket Boys
- Full Title: Rocket Boys: A Memoir
- Where Written: Coalwood, West Virginia
- When Published: Fall 1998
- Literary Period: Cold War memoir
- Genre: Memoir, Bildungsroman
- Setting: Coalwood, West Virginia, United States
- Climax: Homer wins first prize at the National Science Fair
- Antagonist: Pooky Suggs, Jim Hickam, the football gang, the anti-intellectual citizens of Coalwood
- Point of View: First person
Extra Credit for Rocket Boys
Who says writing is for wimps?: Homer Hickam has won various honors—science awards, medals for military excellence, literary prizes—but received arguably his most impressive honor in 1984. In Alabama, Hickam aided in the rescue of a sinking paddleboat in the Tennessee River, risking his life several times to save the passengers from drowning. For his incredible bravery, Hickam was awarded the Alabama Distinguished Service Award, one of the state’s highest civilian honors.
Rocket Boys Day: In the late 90s, Rocket Boys was a huge bestseller, and sparked tremendous interest in West Virginia’s culture and history. In gratitude for everything Hickam did to put his state on the map, the governor of West Virginia, Gaston Caperton, declared an annual “Rocket Boys Day” in celebration of Hickam’s literary and scientific achievements.