Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Welcome to the new Burbank READS blog! It is my pleasure to announce that the 2008 title for Burbank READS has been selected. After reading many books and having numerous lively discussions about the various titles, the committee has chosen (drum roll, please!) Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam, Jr.!

Rocket Boys, also published as October Sky, is a wonderful coming of age memoir about high school boys who are inspired to build a rocket of their own after the successful launch of the Russian rocket, Sputnik. Set in a coal mine town in West Virginia in the late 1950’s, the boys struggle against almost insurmountable odds to follow their dream. This book will make you laugh, perhaps get a little teary-eyed, but certainly inspire you with the determination of these young men to succeed in their quest. Given Burbank’s long connection with Lockheed and the 50th anniversary of the NASA and JPL, this is a timely book certain to evoke memories of the early days of aeronautics and man’s desire to travel to the stars.

Yes, the library has stocked many copies of Rocket Boys (October Sky), and has a copy in Spanish, as well as the abridged version of the book on compact disc. We also have the DVD of the movie, October Sky, which was based on the book. Stop by and check out a copy soon!

We will officially kick off BURBANK READS on March 1, 2008, as we all gather at the Buena Vista Branch Library for a night of family fun including a visit from the Sidewalk Astronomer who will have telescopes set up in the park for all to gaze at the stars. For more information on this and other upcoming programs, check this site or visit our website at Brochures outlining the programs will also be available soon at the library.

In the meantime we will be confirming a number of wonderful upcoming programs including a visit by a retired astronaut! Of course, there will be screenings of the movie October Sky, discussion group opportunities, programs for children and a special dramatic reading from the book. There will be lots happening over the next two months, so grab a copy of Rocket Boys now and start reading!

Wouldn’t it be fun if everybody in Burbank read the same book at the same time?? Join us as we all read Rocket Boys and participate in the many programs as we build community page by page!!

1 comment:

Homer Hickam said...

What a wonderful honor to have Rocket Boys chosen for Burbank Reads! The book has been picked by hundreds of cities as their annual read but I have to say being selected by Burbank is especially meaningful. I am often in the area and have always admired your sweet city.

If I may, I would suggest you contact a couple of local folks to perhaps come by and chat at one of your gatherings: Chuck Gordon who produced October Sky and now heads up Daybreak Productions, and Mickey Freiberg of the Acme Agency who was and is my agent and steered my book to Universal Studios. Not sure if they're available but you never know. Of course, you can also see if Jake Gyllenhaal is in town, too! Yes, the movie is quite a bit different from the book but the people who made it definitely had their hearts in the right place and made a very good film, one I'm proud to be associated with.

To contact me, just go to and go to the Contact Us page.

Thanks again and best wishes for a successful Burbank Reads!

Homer Hickam