Fayette on the Page 2011 kicks off Saturday

Local readers encouraged to read 'Rocket Boys'

The Fayette County Public Library is pleased to announce that the 2011 “Fayette on the Page: One Book, One Community” initiative will focus on “Rocket Boys,” a memoir by Homer Hickam. Now in its fourth year, “Fayette on the Page” is an annual countywide reading and discussion program encouraging all Fayette County residents to read the same book, and then participate in related cultural, educational and recreational activities.

“Rocket Boys,” which was published in 1998 and adapted the following year as the popular movie “October Sky,” tells the true story of the author’s boyhood in the West Virginia coal-mining town of Coalwood, and how his life was changed forever on October 5, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first manmade satellite, into space. Homer “Sonny” Hickam was 14 years old on that fateful day, and soon he and five of his friends were teaching themselves how to build rockets and launching them from a nearby hilltop. Rejecting the prevailing view in Coalwood that the only things that mattered were coal mining and high school football, Sonny and the other Rocket Boys dared to dream big and aim for the stars. With the support of an extraordinary teacher who never stopped believing in them, the Rocket Boys blasted their way to a successful future.

“A powerful story, whether it’s true or fictional, can help us understand the things we’re dealing with in our own lives. When everyone gets together and reads one book, conversations get started and connections are made,” said Sarah Trowbridge, one of the public services librarians at the Fayette County Public Library. “With ‘Fayette on the Page,’ we help people engage with what they read and with one another. Let’s all be like the Rocket Boys: dream big and aim for the stars!”

“Fayette on the Page 2011” kicks off on Saturday, June 4, at the Fayette County Public Library, along with the library’s summer reading programs for children, teens and adults. Stop by the library gazebo between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to enjoy a free hot dog and some lemonade, pick up a “Rocket Boys” bookmark and find out more about the “Rocket Boys” activities being planned for all ages from June through October.

Copies of “Rocket Boys” are available for checkout to PINES library card holders at the Fayette County Public Library. Any Georgia resident who does not already have a PINES card can receive one on the spot by showing proof of current address and filling out a brief application.

Among this year’s “Fayette on the Page” activities is a monthly film series featuring four films with thematic links to “Rocket Boys.” Licensing restrictions prohibit publication of the titles of the films to be shown; contact the Fayette County Public Library at 770-461-8841 and ask for film titles. A printed schedule for the Fayette on the Page 2011 Film Series, including film titles and descriptions, is available for pickup at the library. All screenings are free and open to the public.
Adults who wish to participate in a discussion of “Rocket Boys” may attend the Fayette County Public Library’s monthly book discussion group meeting in September. The group meets that month on Thursday, Sept.15 at 7 p.m. New members are always welcome; email Sarah Trowbridge at saraht@fayettecountyga.gov to join.

The countywide reading celebration will culminate in a grand finale event in October or November. Library staff are finalizing the arrangements for this program; watch for an announcement of the date, time and detailed description of the “Fayette on the Page 2011” grand finale.

“The success of ‘Fayette on the Page’ is attributed to the leadership of staff member Sarah Trowbridge and her incredible ability to initiate, plan and execute projects and programs,” said Chris Snell, director of the Fayette County Public Library.

All “Fayette on the Page” activities are free and open to the public, made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administration complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54. For additional information about “Fayette on the Page: One Book, One Community,” please contact the library at 770-461-8841 or visit online at http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/public_library.