One County One Book Essay Contest Entry Form
(Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam)

[NOTE: Form is no longer active. ]

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or Guardian's Name

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I have read the rules of the One County One Book essay contest and agree to abide by them.

Student's Signature ______________________________________ Date______________________, 2005

Select a Topic (Check One Only)

____ In the first paragraph of the book, Homer writes that his hometown was "at war with itself over its children."
What does this mean? [Commentary: Many young readers write Homer that they are upset that their parents are
trying to steer them towards a career or life that they don't want. It's an interesting situation as it seems to occur in every generation all across the world. Coalwood, then, is a microcosm of this tendency. Yet, the Rocket Boys knew that they and nearly all the children of Coalwood were the "designated refugees," destined to leave the town of their youth. Standing nearly alone against this tide was Homer Senior who believed in the town and knew it would die if its children left.]

___ This story is also about the rewards and costs of nonconformity. Who conforms, who doesn't and what is the consequence of their actions? Is that a problem today and can this story help those who tend to go against the expected norms? How was Quentin a nonconformist? How about the other boys? [Commentary: Homer believes the Rocket Boys are still "dangerous" when they get together. There's something about their mix of personalities that is a bit volatile! They do miss Sherman, though. He was a soothing influence to their passionate personalities!]

(Questions and commentary courtesy of Linda Hickam.)

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