The NAC solicited title suggestions from book clubs throughout Wauwatosa, and a panel of literature teachers, librarians and book club experts selected the final title.
The NAC is pioneering a common reading program in Wauwatosa as a way to bring neighbors together and increase participation in neighborhood associations. Common reads are popular in cities and at universities across the country as a way to get members of the community literally and figuratively “on the same page.” Wauwatosa is currently the only city in Milwaukee County to host a common read.
The Wauwatosa community is invited to read Rocket Boys this fall in anticipation of special events being planned for late January and February. The NAC is hoping to organize a series of events for all ages, including rocket launches, book discussions, author visits and readings, contests and workshops where residents can learn how to build a Little Free Library.
About Rocket Boys
Inspired by Hickam’s short article The Big Creek Missile Agency, which appeared in Air & Space magazine in 1994, the memoir (published in 1998) details Hickam’s life as an aspiring rocket scientist growing up in Coalwood, West Virginia. The book details the two years after Hickam and his high school friends watched Russia beat America in the space race with the launch of Sputnik – and the boys’ determined efforts to launch their own rockets.
Rocket Boys was selected by The New York Times as one of its Great Books of 1998, and nominated by The National Book Club Critics Circle as the Best Biography that same year. The 1999 film October Sky is based on the book.
Tosan's book chosen for middle schoolers
The NAC selected the exciting fantasy thriller Hollow Earth for the middle school read. Wauwatosa author, book reviewer and Alverno College English professor Carole Barrowman and her brother, actor singer John Barrowman of Dr. Who, Torchwood and Arrow, co-wrote the selection.
The book is the first in a trilogy about twins who have the power to bring their art to life and move in and out of paintings at will. Their abilities put them at risk of capture by a nefarious secret society that wants to use their powers to release evil beasts trapped in the Hollow Earth.
Carole Barrowman has created and is making available an elementary and middle school lesson plan to accompany the book.
"I'm so delighted to have ‘Hollow Earth’ chosen for Tosa's first community reading event,” Carole Barrowman said. “To know that children and families in my own neighborhood will be reading it gives me such a thrill."
For more information, go to www.TosasAllCityRead.com, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TosasAllCityRead or follow the program on Twitter @TosaAllCityRead. Contact Tosa’s All-City Read chairperson Maureen Badding at info@TosasAllCityRead.com or 414-476-3238.