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The reading process entails attempts to capture concepts presented by an author in the journey and experiences within the entire rundown. In this case, the process involves a gratifying one, which also prompted a critical deliberation on the ideologies the author attempted to present to the readers. Homer Hickam, in his book Rocket Boys, explores various features of a memoir of a boy concerning the exploration of a dream to being a space (rocket) scientist. Hickam tells the story of how as a boy, he would explore the dream of building and flying a rocket with his team of friends, earning the name ‘rocket boys’ (Hickman). On a personal reading level, it is possible to identify with some of the claims presented within the discussion while questioning other aspects of the same. This discussion of the reading experience attempts to examine the delivery of these notions and in this way, explore the impact that these contents had on a personality. In the total assessment of the book, it is apparent that dreams are valid, but in light of adventures of the rocket boys, some experiences are rather farfetched and more imaginative than believable by readers.


The central idea presented in this book is the strength of a dream and the ways it can inspire one’s juvenile actions in experimenting and attempting to gain traction within the environment. In the book, the process of viewing a rocket go into space, and the inspiration that it drew towards the attempts by the boys to build their own rocket is a juvenile attempt at success (Hickman). Hickman explores the process whereby boys are interested in sciences, and the input into a story similar to his own through a memoir-infused story. There are personal experiences and opinions presented by the author, particularly where he uses his own experiences to fashion the story within a language of science to appeal to the reader. On a personal level, the consideration of the dream painted by the rocket boys is rather extreme, and outside of the realm of reality. Inasmuch as Hickman borrows from his own exploration of rocket science before joining NASA as an engineer, the dream is still limited to a long range of creativity and imagination that does not entirely appeal to the reader.

Conversely, the consideration of the potential of dreams as captured by Hickman is significantly inspirational and seems somewhat surreal. The author endeavors to entice the readership by engaging the interest that he may have experienced in rocket science as a boy and uses it as a lure to the reading process. There is a minimal use of technical terms (as would have been expected of a rocket engineer), and the author manages to capture attention within lay terms. In this regard, the concepts presented in the interest developed by a group of motivated boys in pursuing the dream of space exploration captures the reader. With every introduction of new ideas, the reader is compelled into reading further and with an increasing appeal towards the general idea of rocket building.

The most significant ideas presented in the book surround the potential within everyone’s reach, and with the evidence available towards the dream achieved by the author, the book proves its point. It is possible to consider the topic of discussion by the author on the technological change, which engages a town with ordinary citizens, innovative boys and failing families (Hickam 127). The picture painted by the author before the entry of his story is that of a standard society with striking descriptions of the impact of culture on achievement (Hickam 96). However, Hickman presents a change in the story where this ordinary community produces a space age within a coal-mining region.

Not only does the author attempt to engage his evidence from his career development, but he also uses a surreal setting for his story to tell experiences that led him to achieve a dream held by a boy in similarly normal settings. In this way, Hickman engages a readership with his definitive evidence of societal facilitation of ideas. He also convinces a reader to appreciate his opinion, and in this way, the author does not depend on preexisting views. Inasmuch as the discussion is not science-based, Hickman attempts to include scientific expressions and engineering concepts (from his background in career) to advance the authenticity of the experience.

From a personal basis, the author is biased towards his ideal setting for the development of a dream into reality, through which he tells stories of boys making rockets. In actual contexts, the story would have been affected by sociocultural perceptions, adverse environmental influences, and rejections by the situation itself, which would have killed the dream. Based on this consideration, the bias can be considered as originating from the author’s life story, within which his facilitative environment made him assume similar conditions for all other situations. As a reader, it is evident that the setting of the entire story is in perfect settings that can only be explained as surreal and based on fantasy.

Since the story of rocket boys is not based on any tangible scientific processes or concepts, it is unobjectionable to propose that creditability is not as necessary within the reading. Also, Hickman’s intention in writing this book was an expression of a dream; the professional knowledge possessed by a NASA engineer is credibility enough for the process explained. In this regard, his personal experiences contribute significantly to the correct description of situations and make them dependable for readership confidence in the book’s content.

The conclusion of the book is based on the fulfillment of a dream and exiting of a coal mining region as a life achievement. Since the story relies on the memoirs of the author, it is safe to appreciate the affirmation of dreams and the implications of self-belief as the outcome of dreaming and working towards a dream.

In the overall consideration of the conceits presented in the book towards the creation of dreams into reality, the Hickman captures the entirety of the concept. However, the limitations of the entire storyline to a particular thought process and environmental condition limit the reader to particular questions on the intent of the author towards inspiring readers in such situations. Hickman’s bias towards his own experience, therefore, make the book a one-sided discussion of cultural and societal conditions.

Works Cited

Hickman, Homer H. Rocket Boys. Dell, 2000.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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