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October Sky

Adventure Novel
by

Cynthia Wu

on 10 March 2013

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Transcript of October Sky

Plot Exposition Rising Action Falling Action Climax Resolution Homer Hickam Jr. is a boy who lives in the tiny town of Coalwood, West Virginia. It is the time of the Space Race, and the Russians just launched Sputnik into space. Sputnik is talked about all the time over the radio. When it is announced that Sputnik will fly over America, the town of Coalwood gathers together to watch Sputnik fly across the sky. When Homer Hickam Jr. sees Sputnik fly over Coalwood, his interest in rockets begins. Conflict Homer Hickam Jr. gets in a group with his friends, and they begin to research and try to build rockets. Their first rocket blew up the fence around Homer Hickam Jr.'s house, but they keep on trying. Their goal is to be part of Dr. von Braun's team-Dr. von Braun builds rockets and sends them into space. This group of boys soon become known as the Rocket Boys. They do lots of research on rockets, and do anything they can to get material to build their rockets. After many months of building rockets, the Rocket Boys are finally very successful. Their teacher, Miss Riley, who really supported them, tells them to enter in the science fair. After a lot of thought and argument, the Rocket Boys decide to enter their rockets in the science fair. The Rocket Boys enter their rocket in the science fair. The wait to figure out what they got is very suspenseful, but the result is very good: they win first place. This is a very happy and emotional moment for the Rocket Boys because they had to go against a lot of people to keep building their rockets; many people in Coalwood wanted them to stop launching and building rockets. Now, they get to enter in the National Science Fair, where they also win first place. When they get first place in both science fairs, it is the best moment in their lives. Their work has finally paid off. Homer Hickam Jr. goes back to Coalwood, West Virginia after the science fair. Miss Riley, their teacher, soon dies from her disease. The Rocket Boys launch their last and biggest rocket, Auk XXXI. At this last launch, Homer Hickam Sr. came to watch the Rocket Boys launch their rocket, something he had never done before. There are several conflicts in this book. The first conflict was that the Rocket Boys couldn't get their rockets to fly high enough. Also, there was a conflict between Homer Hickam Jr. and his dad. His dad wanted him to work in the mine like him, but Homer Hickam Jr. wanted to build rockets. Finally, the last conflict was between the Rocket Boys and the town of Coalwood, West Virginia. Many people in Coalwood wanted the Rocket Boys to stop building and launching their rockets. Each of the Rocket Boys soon go to college. Roy Lee became a banker, O'Dell worked with insurance and farming, and Quentin, Billy, Sherman, and Homer Hickam Jr. became engineers (422). Homer Hickam Jr. retired from NASA in 1997. They had each achieved their goal of building and launching rockets. Setting This book takes place in Coalwood, West Virginia. This setting is important because men who live there always work in the mine, but Homer Hickam Jr. doesn't want to, which helps motivate him to accomplish his dream of building and launching rockets. Themes I think that the theme of this book is that you can accomplish anything if you work at it. This is the case of Homer Hickam Jr., who accomplished his goal by working hard and keep on trying even though many people were against his dream. Point of View This book is told from a first person's point of view. It is autobiographical, for Homer Hickam Jr. himself is telling the story. Two examples of first person are:
"Until I began to build and launch rockets, I didn't know my hometown was at war with itself over its children and that my parents were locked in a kind of bloodless combat over how my brother and I would live our lives (1)."
"Coalwood, West Virginia, where I grew up, was built for the purpose of extracting the millions of tons of rich bituminous coal that lay neneath it (1)." Characters The protagonist is Homer Hickam Jr. He is the main character, and he is trying to succeed in his goal of building and launching rockets. The antagonist is partly Homer Hickam Sr. because he wants his son to work in the coal mine and not build and launch rockets. Also, some people in the town are the antagonists because they want the Rocket Boys to stop launching their rockets. More Characters Figurative Language There are many scenes in this book that can be seen in the reader's mind. The author uses adjectives to enhance his writing and to make it more descriptive. For example, on page 204, Homer Hickam wrote: "As we neared the surface, the cold, fresh air fof the mountain blew down on the shaft, giving me a shiver. The earth's surface slipped past and there, standing at the gate still in her church clothes, was my mother. A rock-dust crew stood nearby, their eyes locked on her. They shifted their gaze to Dad and me. Mom stared at what I knew must be my grimy face, my coal-mascaraed eyes, and my blackened coveralls. Then, to my utter astonishment, she burst into tears. The rock-dust crew took a step backward. Some of them took off their helmets, rubbing their heads and looking down at their feet as if embarrassed to be witnesses to her tears...." Another example of imagery can be found on page 45: "Wooden splinters whistled past my ears. Big chunks of the fence arced into the sky. Burning debris fell with a clatter. A thumderous echo rumbled back from the surrounding hollows. Dogs up and down the valley barked and house lights came on, one by one. People came out and huddled on their front porches...." A third example of imagery is on page 286. It says, "The night dragged on, the rain ending and the clouds scudding away and the stars blinking on, one by one, looking cold and distant. A breeze rstled the budding trees above us on the mountainside, but, like everybody else, my focus was entirely on the silent tipple and the frozen winch wheel on the man-hoise. It seemed as if the shaft sighed every time steam rose from it, as if emoting a whisper of anticipation...." More Figurative Language The author uses foreshadowing the book. One example of foreshadowing is when Sputnik flew over Coalwood, West Virginia, and Homer Hickam Jr. was so amazed by Sputnik that he just stood there for an hour. This forshadows that Homer Hickam Jr. will have an interest in rockets, since he was so fascinated with Sputnik. Another example of foreshadowing in the book is when Homer Hickam Jr. and his friends win first place at the science fair. This foreshadows that Homer Hickam Sr. will approve of rocket building because all throughout the book, he ddin't want his son to build and launch rockets because he thought that it was a waste of time, and that his son wouldn't get anywhere with it. But now that Homer Hickam Jr. won at the science fair, his dad might be more supportive of his dream. The End October Sky Prezi By Cynthia Wu P4
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