October Sky/ Rocket Boys
October Sky/ Rocket Boys
All Carroll Reads

As I attend various library related workshops and conferences, I am constantly on the lookout for something new to bring to the library and to our community. With the space restrictions we have, some of the ideas are difficult to implement, but this is one I believe can benefit the entire community without needing any space at all.

After the controversy of last summer's bond issue and library building plan, we've been working at the library to continue our mission of providing the best library services as possible to our city and surrounding areas. Choosing a book that can be read and shared by all age groups seems a worthwhile endeavor. Involving individuals, businesses, schools, book clubs, movie goers and getting them all to talk about a shared interest in a book supports our motto "Enriching Lives, Building Community."

So how does this work? We purchased multiple copies of the book "October Sky" and have them available for you to check out. Adding to some confusion with this project is the original title of this book was "The Rocket Boys" but once it came out in movie format, it was retitled "October Sky." Either way, we are talking about the same book!

What's this book about? It is a biography based on the author's own life growing up in a coalmining community in West Virginia. It reads like a story, so it isn't your typical biographical retelling of someone's life. It begins as Russia launches Sputnik in 1959 and a group of high school boys attempt to launch rockets themselves to help America in the "space race." We learn a little about coal mining and the dangers involved in this occupation; plus the difficulties between unions and management in an occupation that is not only a career, but a lifestyle. It is a story about dreams of the future, parents wanting more for their children and how an entire community gathered around a group of boys to help them accomplish their dreams.

How do I take part? Read the book. Encourage your friends, children, relatives or neighbors to read the book. Get together and talk about the book. Check out the movie from the library and see how Hollywood adapted the book in movie format. This might be a way to get your teenager talking!

Attend a book discussion we'll be holding around town beginning in April and running through June. We'll post a list of businesses or locations who are willing to host us in March. Attend an evening program centered on one of the themes in the book. Scott Duhrkopf at Carroll High School has already agreed to give a presentation on rocket building. Watch his Carroll High School physics class launch their rockets in May. Learn about the coal mining profession from an expert from Webster County.

Maybe you want to get involved personally by offering to host a book discussion in your home or business. You may realize you have some experience with one of the themes in the book and could provide an evening program. Call me!

This might be the first time you've thought about reading a book just because you are intrigued by the idea of everybody in a town reading the same book. Don't be left out. You never know how much fun reading a book can be!

For more information contact me at the library 792-3432 or check the library's website over the next few months at www.carroll-library.org