Radio Bristol Book Club: Rocket Boys

Welcome to Radio Bristol Book Club! Each month readers from BCM and the Bristol Public Library come together to celebrate and explore one book inspired by our region’s rich Appalachian cultural and musical heritage. We invite you to read along and then listen to Radio Bristol on the fourth Thursday of the month at 11:00am when we will dig deep into the feelings and questions raised by the books, learn more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm!

This month’s Radio Bristol Book Club pick is Homer “Sonny” Hickam’s memoir Rocket Boys, a coming-of-age story of a young man growing up in Coalwood, West Virginia. Sonny is in high school when the Russians launch Sputnik and the United States joins the space race, which leads Sonny and a group of oddball companions on an adventure which changes their town and their lives forever.


The cover of Homer “Sonny” Hickam’s Rocket Boys.

Homer Hickam was raised in Coalwood, West Virginia, the son of a coal miner. He began his writing career after he returned home from Vietnam in 1969 by writing adventure pieces for different magazines. His award-winning memoir Rocket Boys was followed by four more books in the Coalwood series. His first novel was Back to the Moon and his most recent was Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator which came out in 2015. He has received many awards and honors for his writing, along with an honorary Doctorate of Literature. You can find more details about Homer Hickam from his official website.

Author Homer Hickam. Courtesy of the author

Make plans to read Rocket Boys and then join us on Thursday, April 23 at 11:00am as we discuss this wonderful book – and hopefully we will be sharing a conversation with the author too! You can find us on the dial at 100.1 FM, streaming live on Radio Bristol, or via the Radio Bristol app. We look forward to sharing our thoughts on this deep and engaging novel.

Our Radio Bristol Book Club pick for May is Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument by Allen St. John.

Tonia Kestner is the Executive Director of the Bristol Public Library.

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