The Great Read Adds Two Exciting Events

The 2012 Great Read community reading program has added two exciting events to its 2012 program, focusing on this year’s book, “Rocket Boys” by Homer Hickam Jr.

First, the Joliet Area Historical Museum will partner with the Great Read to offer a special opportunity on Saturday, March 3, 2012 for Great Read participants to view its fascinating exhibit about Joliet native Dr. John Houbolt.

“Nancy Houbolt Family Day” will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, 204 N. Ottawa Street, Joliet. Admission is free to anyone 17 and younger, and only $5 for adults who mention the Great Read.

Dr. Houbolt played a key role in the early space program. He championed the lunar orbit rendezvous concept that eventually allowed the United States to efficiently land men on the moon.

The 500-square foot, two-floor exhibit features interactive panels, diagrams and maps, audio-visuals, flat screen narratives and period dioramas to tell the exciting story of the race to the moon, the Apollo 11 mission, the moon landing and Dr. Houbolt’s vision for the American space program.

Space-related activities will be available for kids in the Houbolt Resource and Discovery Room and NASA-related mementos will be given away while supplies last.

Second, a lucky reader could win four tickets to the Adler Planetarium by taking part in the Great “Rocket Boys” Novel Contest.

Visit the Great Read web site at, download the contest flier from the front page, and email your answers to the 10 trivia questions to by Friday, April 6, 2012.

Two winners will be randomly chosen from all of the replies with the correct answers. The winning adult (16 years or older) will receive the tickets to the Adler Planetarium, and the winning child (15 years and younger) will get a model rocket building kit.

The winners will be announced at the Great Read Closing Gala Celebration, 6 p.m. April 17, 2011, Plainfield North High School, 12005 S. 248th Street, Plainfield.

“Rocket Boys” is an exciting, inspirational and funny memoir about a 1960s teen’s fascination with rocketry – by a man who became an actual rocket scientist for NASA. It is also an inspiring and revealing look at a young boy’s efforts to become his own man by breaking out of the orbit of his coal mining family and community.

The Great Read was created in 2004 to promote literacy, reading, conversation and community in the greater Plainfield area.

“The Great Read” is presented by the Plainfield School District 202; the Plainfield, Joliet and Fountaindale public libraries; Plainfield Township; and the Joliet-area Barnes and Noble stores.

“The Great Read” is supported by a generous grant from the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence (; the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library; and additional funding from participating member organizations.

Check the Great Read 2011-12 web site for more information at

2 thoughts on “The Great Read Adds Two Exciting Events

  1. What a great choice for a book. It will appeal to everyone. I loved it when I read it under its original title, October Sky. It is also one of the few books that was developed into a good movie.

    • I was talking to Mr. Hickam last week and he said that the original title was “Rocket Boys.” The title was changed when they were making the movie. Mr. Hickam did not want the title changed, but of all the possible choices, he liked October Sky. The producers came up with the name October Sky, and it is the only possible anagram of Rocket Boys. I thought that was really interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s