Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Journey to the Rosenberg Library

Display is up and ready to view! Thanks to Lynn Burke.
Start your journey into the book, Into The Beautiful North at the Rosenberg Library and check out our new display.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Journey Begins with Leadership Discussion!!

Dr. Gorman lead us into the beautiful North! By providing questions to mull over, in facilitating book discussions for: Into The Beautiful North, on Tuesday, Nov 2, in the Randall Room at the Rosenberg Library.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rocket Boy Roy Lee Cooke In Person

A special featured event for this year’s Galveston Reads book Rocket Boys is a guest appearance by one of the original Rocket Boys and founding member of the Big Creek Missile Agency. Rocket Boy Roy Lee Cooke was “unique among us” and has been invited to Galveston to tell his side of the story. Cooke will speak on Tuesday, March 9 at 7:00 pm at Galveston College, 4015 Avenue Q, Room FA207. Program costs have been underwritten by Galveston Reads sponsors and there is no charge to attend.
When quizzed if his remembrances of those high school days were different from
the author’s Cooke responded, “When different people witness something, it is quite common for them to remember different things in different ways. If I had written the book, I'm sure I would have written different things than Homer. That doesn't mean that he was wrong in his memory.”

The #1 New York Times best-selling memoir, Rocket Boys/October Sky, is the true story of Homer "Sonny" Hickam, Jr., a boy from the mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, a town where everything was dying except Hickam’s dreams. This inspirational book shows readers that lives can be better through hard work, perseverance and enthusiasm. All things are possible. The movie name October Sky is an anagram of the book name Rocket Boys - the same letters, just moved around. Note: When the paperback came out at the same time as the movie, it was also titled October Sky. Cooke’s character in the Universal Pictures film was played by William Lee Scott.
Cooke’s father died at age 45 after working his entire adult life in the coal mines; and Cooke and his mother stayed on in the company town. In addition to his involvement in the rocket projects he played running back on the high school football team, was named best thespian during his senior year and was active in a variety of clubs. After high school he went on to college and worked in banking for 25 years. Since that time Cooke has been President of Carolina Domestic Coal and is owner of The Cooke Company, a company devoted to bringing new businesses and venture capital into West Virginia. His company, The Red Shield LLC is the Master Developer of the City of Fairmont, West Virginia.
Cooke maintains civic and business interests in the Appalachian area, including support of the West Virginia Access Center for Higher Education. Additionally, he has New Horizons Computer Learning Centers in several states and started the Prodigy Foundation to support education and jobs in West Virginia. In memory of the beloved science teacher Frieda Riley the Prodigy Foundation each year awards an outstanding West Virginia teacher that has overcome great obstacles to be in the profession.
Over 120 communities have read Rocket Boys together. John Augelli, Rosenberg Library Executive Director, found it to be a fascinating story and, personally one of the most interesting Galveston Reads titles. It’s not too late to participate in the Galveston Reads project. You do not have to have read the book to attend the Rocket Boy Roy Lee Cooke presentation on Tuesday evening.
For more information or schedule of events about the one city/one book project, Galveston Reads visit or contact Karen Stanley, Rosenberg Library at 409.763.8854 x119.
Roy Lee Cooke promises not to tell too many fishing stories at the Galveston Reads program.
By Karen Stanley

Read On Galveston

Even as Galveston Reads continues its 2010 programming related to 2010’s city-wide read, Rocket Boys, one Galveston Reads committee is preparing for 2011. The book selection committee, charged with finding books that will stimulate reading, discussion and community activities, has announced its three finalists vying to be the city-wide book next year. The public is invited to read the three selected as finalists and vote for their choice to be the Galveston Reads “one city, one book” selection in 2011.
Like one of the multi-stage rockets that Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys, worked on, the payload of 2010 programming is still in orbit, with discussions around town, a screening of “October Sky,” and an appearance by one of the original Rocket Boys yet to come. The exploratory capsule for 2011 has zoomed forward, though, as the selection committee read more than 50 books in search of the best choices for Galveston Reads.
The three books chosen—“Into the Beautiful North,” by Luis Urrea, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” by Garth Stein , and “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate,” by Jacqueline Kelly—were selected for their readability, relevance to the community, and broad appeal.
“Into the Beautiful North” follows a spirited band of young women from a coastal Mexican town as they head north across the border to retrieve some of the men who have left home to live in America. The tale of their road trip, as they discover both wonders and disappointments, has charmed readers with its funny, sad but always compassionate look at two cultures. “Into the Beautiful North” was written by Luis Alberto Urrea, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who draws on his Mexican-American heritage for many of his insights.
“The Art of Racing in the Rain” is narrated by a dog; readers will be amazed at how seamlessly his explanations of how dogs think are merged with his observations of his human family. The book blends auto racing, family drama and canine philosophy into an engaging and thought-provoking story.
“The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” is set in central Texas in 1899, a time and place where young girls were expected to concern themselves with needlepoint, household skills and etiquette. The inquisitive Calpurnia Tate, however, is encouraged by her grandfather in a more scientific direction, and the conflicts that arise between her desires and the expectations of society will be eye-opening to many readers.
All three of the Galveston Reads 2011 finalists are available at Rosenberg Library and at local bookshops. Voting continues through April 27 and can be done at the library or online at
By Karen Stanley

Friday, February 12, 2010


Vote for your choice for the Galveston Reads 2011 book.
Voting ends April 27, 2010
Email voting at:
Email voting at:
Phone voting at: Karen Stanley 409.763.8854 x119
Bookmark voting: Turn in your bookmark at Rosenberg Library.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Top 3 Books for 2011 Galveston Reads Selection

Dear Fellow Readers:

I have exciting news. The book selection committee met Thursday, January 28th and voted on the three finalists for the 2011 Galveston Reads selection. I know it seems odd to be discussing next year’s book before we’ve even finished this year’s, but if we want to announce the book prior to the end of the school year we need to work ahead. We like to announce it before summer to allow prep time for any teacher who wants to incorporate the title into the curriculum for the next school year.

The three finalists for your consideration are:

Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

Following the format we’ve had for the last couple of years committee members may vote for the book they recommend of the three that have been nominated. The book selection committee, chaired by Carol Hodges has worked incredibly hard and has read, read, read all year long. Careful thought went into the decision and I would urge committee members to take their vote seriously and read each of the three titles before casting the vote. All votes should be cast by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, April 27. More information of different ways to vote will be forthcoming.

As always, your interest and active work on the Galveston Reads committee is incredibly valuable. Thank you!

Karen Stanley, Head of Children's Services
Rosenberg Library*2310 Sealy Avenue*Galveston TX 77550
(409)763-8854 x119

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Austin Rocket Club Launches on the Seawall

Today, on a cold, clear day on the beach, at Seawall and 11th Street, promptly at 11:00 AM, the Austin Middle School Rocket Club successfully launched 15 Estes model rockets. The Club’s Advisor is Bill McAdams, a third year Engineering teacher at Austin. The Rocket Club is sponsored by G.I.S.D.'s 21st Century Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program. The Coordinator for Austin's 21st Century ACE program is Joel Delatorre.

There were over 85 people watching from the beach, seawall and the comfort of their cars! Dedicated parents, students and friends gathered to cheer each of the launches on this chilly day in Galveston.

The idea to form the Austin Rocket Club was stimulated by Mary Case of Galveston Reads when she approached Mc Adams about sponsoring a joint event relating to Galveston Read’s book of the year “Rocket Boys”.

Following the beach launches, three Austin students provided a presentation at Galveston College on software programs used within Austin’s STEM program. Alejandro Salazar, a 5th grader, demonstrated a NASA model rocket simulation program. Skler Wetmore, a 6th grader, demonstrated the West Point Bridge Building software. Aurora Reinmiller, a 7th grader, demonstrated the use of sophisticated engineering software. Alejandro and Aurora are students enrolled in the STEM program, while Skyler is enrolled in the College Preparatory program at Austin.
With 40 people in the audience, the student presentations impressed all the future rocket boys and rocket girls, along with their parents and the Galveston Read’s community.

Thanks to Mr. McAdams, Galveston College for the room and Mosquito Cafe for donations towards refreshments, and our own Kat for the pics and Lynn for the design of program!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Straight from Mod Coffee House

from kat, participant in the Galveston Reads program held 1/21/2010 facilitated by Dr. Pat Jakobi….. if you haven’t been to one of the discussion groups about the book Rocket Boys (October Sky) don’t miss your opportunity to do so. I attended the discussion last night at MOD Coffee House, and I am in awe at the facilitator’s ability to focus and bring up some interesting theories of every reader of the book. Is there really such a thing as a “man’s book?” When I read the book, I did think to myself there’s little emotion emoting from the story teller – well – why did I think that? It’s a man’s book. We talked about the mother, the era she lived, detached, strong, a survivor… all these things coming to the forefront in our discussion. We talked about the connection of the town to the boys, how the town needed them, and how they needed the town – it was a true match. I also met some fabulous people, some new to Galveston – yeah! New Blood! In essence, I don’t portray myself as an intelligent human being, I see myself as a pseudo artist and a child seeking knowledge, and to be surrounded by such thought provoking individuals discussing the Galveston Reads book of the year was exciting to me. Don’t miss the next book discussion! You’ll be thankful you went.

and this discussion was so absorbing that all participates cried and hugged at the end and bonded as all good women's circles do! (i heard this through the grapevine...poom)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Austin Rocket Club Launches First Galveston Reads Event

Come watch our very own students from Austin Middle School launch the first Galveston Reads event. Galveston Reads has selected the book: Rocket Boys, by Homer H. Hickam for 2010.

Our local rocket boys and girls will be launching Estes model rockets from the seawall. They have built and decorated the model rockets which fly approximately 300 feet before returning by parachute. The students plan to fire 15 rockets beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday January 30th, 2010.

Location: 11th and Seawall

The students belong to Austin Middle School’s Rocket Club here in Galveston. The club’s advisor is Bill Mc Adams who is an engineering teacher. He is in his third year of teaching engineering at Austin Middle school. He is an enthusiastic advocate of learning, reading and engineering. Thank you to Bill and the students for their support of this Galveston Reads event.

The Rocket Club is sponsored by G.I.S.D.’s 21st Century Afterschool Centers on Education. The program is in its second year as is the club. The purpose of this program is to establish activities that provide students with academic enrichment opportunities along with activities designed to complement the students’ regular academic program. The site coordinator for the Austin 21st Century ACE program is Joel DeLaTorre.

The Austin Rocket Club will present at Galveston College shortly after the rocket firings at 12:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

1/30/10 Model Rocket Launch
11th and Seawall. 11 am

Austin Middle School Rocket
Club Presentation. 12:45pm.
Galveston College.
4015 Ave. Q, Room FA207

This and the following events are sponsored by Galveston Reads, in cooperation with Rosenberg Library, a “One City, One Book” project from January through March 2010.

All fellow readers invited to attend this and upcoming events.

Please note that all events are free and open to the public

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Galveston Bookshop Hosts Second Discussion

Sharan Zwick and the Galveston Bookshop hosted a discussion on Tuesday evening, January 12, led by Elizabeth Spears, that started at 5:30 and finished, more or less, around 6:30 except that the cocoa and cookies gave everyone an excuse to stand around and talk a little more about the book and Galveston Reads in general. Much of the discussion dealt with the relationship between the rocket boys and their families and the community as a whole. At the beginning of the book, most parents believed that their male children would follow them into the mine, where the job was dangerous but the pay and the security were good. The rocket boys, however, forged a different path, one that originally met with great opposition but was embraced as they began to succeed and bring honors and awards to the community. At the same time, the residents of the town began to face the fact that their community was dying and their children, like the rocket boys, needed to find a path to the future outside of the town of Coalwood. Homer knew what he wanted to do from the moment he saw Sputnik trace across the sky, but without the help of valuable mentors and the eventual community support, it is possible that his dream may never have come to fruition. One of the rich aspect of the book was how "normal" so much of the boys' lives seem to be, filled with the ups and downs of teenage romance, adolescent sexuality, friendships, school work, dances, and school rivalries. This is juxtaposed against the boys' need to teach themselves, in a world without the Internet and limited library holding (although with some invaluable assistance from supportive adults), how to successfully build a rocket that could actually fly.

From the notes of Pat Jacobi...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blasting off with Rocket Boys in 2010

Galveston Reads 2010 blasts off! The first GReads event was held at Mosquito CafĂ© on January 6, 2010. Pat Bumpus led a lively discussion of this year’s book, Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. Readers may be familiar with the movie, “October Sky,” which was the film adaptation of Hickam’s memoir about growing up in the late 1950’s fascinated with rocketry while living in the declining mining town of Coalwood, Virginia. The participants in the first discussion agreed that the book is a true heart-warmer with many universal themes with which we all can relate. Similarities to Galveston’s decline since Hurricane Ike are obvious. Other prevalent themes were the impact of mentors on young people, parental hopes for their children, and economic forces on people’s lives. Hickam also illuminates his tale with various humorous escapades of his band of rocket boys. Readers will be inspired by this story of how one boy’s focus on a dream changed not only his life, but also the lives of his friends, family, and town, and now touches millions.

GReads encourages everyone in the city to read Rocket Boys, by Homer Hickam, as part of the Rosenberg Library, “One City, One Book” project. Whether you’ve read the book or not, join us for one of the upcoming discussion groups and be inspired! On March 9, 2010, one of the original rocket boys, Roy Lee, will visit Galveston – join us and hear the story come alive again!

The next book discussion group will be held at Galveston Bookshop on Tuesday, January 12 at 5:30 pm.

The following events are sponsored by Galveston Reads, in cooperation with Rosenberg Library, a “One City, One Book” project from January through March 2010.


J. Elizabeth Spears and Poom Sunhachawi-Taylor

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kick off 2010

Great night with Pat Bumpus facilitating our discussion. Had quite a few GReads members, and Steve with refreshments and cookies, opened just for us!

Nice to see Gracie, Elizabeth, Beth and Fannie!

Wonderful start to the reading season at the Mosquito Cafe.