9th Grade Summer Reading Assignment Samantha Scarborough
Prewriting for October Sky
1. The title of our assigned novel is October Sky, written by Homer Hickam. This book consists of 428 pages, and was first published in 1998.
2. October Sky is historical fiction. One reason being that although it is a memoir of events that actually occurred, pseudonyms such as Dorothy- introduced on page 29 and revealed as a pseudonym in the epilogue on page 422- have been inserted, making it fiction. Another reason is that some of the dialogue consists of fictional quotes to tell the story better.
3. October Sky has many significant characters, but focuses on Homer Hickam. Born and raised in Coalwood, a small town in West Virginia, Homer dreams of one day working with his idol, Dr.Wernher von Braun, on rockets that the scientist launches in an area called Cape Canaveral. Although sometimes his hope and determination falters, Homer believes his aspiration can become a reality and continues to strive towards his goal until it is reached. He also seems to believe in a greater power that helps him throughout his struggles and makes everything turn out right, even if not perfectly or as he imagined. He has also coveted the nickname “Sonny”, which most people in Coalwood call him. Also significant in this book is Jim Hickam, Homer’s older brother. Jim is a star football player with high hopes of getting a college scholarship with his success in this sport, and is rather vain when it comes to his social achievements and appearance. There is another Homer Hickam in October Sky too- Sonny’s father, married to Elsie Hickam. Sonny’s father is extremely dedicated to his job as the mine’s superintendent. He resides in a house next to the mine with his family. The company he works for has installed what the Hickam family calls a “black phone” in their house to call him and give him updates on his work, and his gruff mouth is often heard...