****Sky of Stone
by Homer Hickam
Reviewed January 31, 2002.
Delacorte Press, 2001. 365 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (B HIC).
Homer Hickam keeps surpassing himself. This is another book
by the author of Rocket Boys
(on which the excellent movie October
was based) and The Coalwood Way.
This is a sequel to the other books, but you could enjoy it without having
read the others.
Sky of Stone
covers “Sonny” Hickam’s first summer after he
has gone off to college. He had hoped to go to Myrtle Beach to help
his mother fix up a new house, but his mother has other ideas. She
insists that he go back to Coalwood because his father is going through
a hard time and needs his company.
On the face of it, this seems ridiculous. Sonny’s father barely
notices he’s there. However, after he wrecks his father’s car and
starts working in the coal mine to pay for it, Sonny notices some interesting
This book explores family relationships in an intricate, understated
way. In the October Sky
movie, Sonny’s father is something
of a one-dimensional character. In this book, we get a better idea
of the complicated relationship between him and his son. The story
is interesting and well-crafted. There’s even a mystery:
Was Sonny’s Dad responsible for the death of a miner? How is Nate
Dooley, an imbecilic old man who once saved Sonny’s life, involved?
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.
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