MILITARY BOOKS

Homer H. Hickam

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Captain Homer H. Hickam, Jr., USA, was born on February 19, 1943, the second son of Homer and Elsie Hickam, and was raised in Coalwood, West Virginia. He graduated from Big Creek High School in 1960 and from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1964 with a BS degree in Industrial Engineering. A U.S. Army veteran, Homer Hickam served as a First Lieutenant in the Fourth Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1967-1968 where he won the Army Commendation and Bronze Star medals. He served six years on active duty, leaving the service with the rank of Captain.

 

Homer Hickam has been a writer since 1969 after his return from Vietnam. While working on his writing career, Homer. Hickam was employed as an engineer for the U.S. Army Missile Command from 1971 to 1981 assigned to Huntsville, Alabama, and Germany. He began employment with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Marshall Space Flight Center in 1981 as an aerospace engineer. During his NASA career, Mr. Hickam worked in spacecraft design and crew training.  Homer Hickman is the author of October Sky; Red Helmet; The Coalwood Way; Sky of Stone; We Are Not Afraid; The Far Reaches; The Ambassador's Son; The Keeper's Son; Torpedo Junction; and, Back to the Moon.

 

According to Naval Institute Press Torpedo Junction, “recounts the deadly U-boat action off the North Carolina cost in the early days of World War II.”  The Journal of Military History said, “The best account to date of America's early war against the U-Boat.”  According to the book description of Torpedo Junction, “Although technically not one of the Josh Thurlow novel series, Homer Hickam's first book, Torpedo Junction, is a companion-piece for The Keeper's Son. A non-fiction work that took Homer over a decade to research, Torpedo Junction was published in 1989 by the Naval Institute, the top publisher of military and historical books.”

 

According to the book description of October Sky, “Inspired by Werner von Braun and his Cape Canaveral team, 14-year-old Homer Hickam decided in 1957 to build his own rockets. They were his ticket out of Coalwood, West Virginia, a mining town that everyone knew was dying--everyone except Sonny's father, the mine superintendent and a company man so dedicated that his family rarely saw him. Hickam's smart, iconoclastic mother wanted her son to become something more than a miner and, along with a female science teacher, encouraged the efforts of his grandiosely named Big Creek Missile Agency. He grew up to be a NASA engineer and his memoir of the bumpy ride toward a gold medal at the National Science Fair in 1960--an unprecedented honor for a miner's kid--is rich in humor as well as warm sentiment. Hickam vividly evokes a world of close communal ties in which a storekeeper who sold him saltpeter warned, "Listen, rocket boy. This stuff can blow you to kingdom come." Hickam is candid about the deep disagreements and tensions in his parents' marriage, even as he movingly depicts their quiet loyalty to each other. The portrait of his ultimately successful campaign to win his aloof father's respect is equally affecting.”

 

According to the book description of Red Helmet, “From the author of the #1 New York Times best-seller October Sky, comes the exciting story of a woman who must work in a deep mine where danger, and possibly murder, awaits her in the darkness.

 

Song Hawkins is a young, beautiful, and tough New York businesswoman who thinks she's found the man of her dreams in Cable Jordan, the manager of a West Virginia coal mine. But when they marry and travel to Highcoal, Cable's Appalachian home town, Song is troubled by a people who love coal mining and mountains, can't imagine a Sunday without church, and cling to the rough ways of their ancestors. Since she can't live in Highcoal and he can't live in New York, their marriage seems doomed. Then, in an astonishing turn of events, she is required to descend into Cable's mine and wear the red helmet of a new coal miner. In the deep darkness, Song has to use everything she's learned to save herself and the man she loves. Red Helmet is a stirring and unforgettable story of a proud people lost in the cracks of American society, told by the author born to write it.”

 

According to the book description of The Coalwood Way, it “is a story of the Rocket Boys and Coalwood. Homer calls it an "equal," rather than a sequel because the story happens during the same timeframe as the first book. All the Rocket Boys are back in this book along with a whole lot of other folks including Ginger, the Rocket Girl! A lot of people say The Coalwood Way should have been titled A Coalwood Christmas because it is really very much a Christmas story. We think you'll like it any time of the year. Most people do!”

 

According to the book description of We Are Not Afraid, it “outlines the wisdom of a people who always lived in perilous times, and recommends their way of life as a model for living without fear. The people who developed this wisdom were the men and women who built the town of Coalwood, West Virginia, the location of Homer Hickam's "Coalwood Trilogy," (October Sky, The Coalwood Way, and Sky of Stone). At the center of the town, and the only employer, was a deep and dangerous coal mine. In order to live happily while still being engaged in the treacherous enterprise of mining coal, the people of Coalwood devised a set of "attitudes" that allowed them to avoid the habits of long-term fear and dread. Homer discusses each attitude and uses stories to illustrate how the people of Coalwood lived and taught their way of life that ultimately assumed”

 

According to the book description, Back to the Moon “was Homer's first book-length fiction, published in 1999. It is an adult, page-turning scientific thriller with lots of insider information about NASA. Like all of Homer's books, this one also has comic situations that will have readers laughing out loud. But when Homer shifts gears and the drama kicks in, the action is incredible. Back to the Moon, besides being a heart-pounding adventure, is a wonderful, sensuous love story of the near future like only Homer can tell. It is available in hardcover, paperback, abridged audio book, electronic book and Chinese.”


Torpedo Junction: U-Boat War Off America's East Coast 1942
Homer Hickam  More Info

The Coalwood Way
Homer Hickam  More Info

The Keeper's Son (Josh Thurlow Series #1)
Homer Hickam  More Info

The Ambassador's Son (Josh Thurlow Novels)
Homer Hickam  More Info

Red Helmet
Homer Hickam  More Info

The Far Reaches (Josh Thurlow Series #1)
Homer Hickam  More Info

Sky of Stone: A Memoir
Homer Hickam  More Info

We Are Not Afraid: Strength and Courage from the Town That Inspired the #1 Bestseller and Award-Winning Movie "October Sky"
Homer Hickam  More Info

Back to the Moon: A Novel
Homer Hickam  More Info

Rocket Boys (The Coalwood Series #1)
Homer Hickam  More Info

Torpedo Junction: U-Boat War Off America's East Coast 1942
Homer Hickam  More Info

According to the book description of The Far Reaches, “Homer Hickam is pulling out the stops for The Far Reaches, the third in the popular Josh Thurlow series. This time, like an old warhorse, Coast Guard Captain Thurlow joins the invasion of Tarawa where the marines are nearly defeated on the reefs before they ever reach the beaches. Josh flounders ashore through a floating graveyard of dead men and joins the survivors, determined to somehow wrest victory from disaster. After being wounded numerous times, and nearly driven insane by the heat, blood, and carnage of the desperate battle, Josh is spun off on one of his greatest adventures. Sister Mary Kathleen, a pretty Irish nun harboring a terrible secret and what she believes is her "greatest sin", shanghais Josh, sidekick Bosun Ready O'Neal, and three American marines to a group of lovely tropical islands invaded by a brutal Japanese warlord, a man who seems to want, more than anything else, the surrender of the nun to his will. Josh and his little band must decide whether to help Sister fight her former captor, or return to Tarawa and the regular war, or settle down as "family men" in the romantic splendor of the South Seas. What follows is an explosive story, with Hickam expertly weaving the adventures of these hot-blooded characters tighter and tighter until a fiery, terrible day when Sister's secrets and sins are finally revealed during a great battle in the lair of the warlord. The insights into human spirit the novel reveals are profound, Hickam's sense of humor and irony are in full flower, and the narrative hot-blooded and real.”

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