October Sky

by Homer Hickam

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What did Homer appear to abandon after Ike Bykosvski's death?

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Particularly since it was the work that Homer asked Ike to do in the machine shop that led to Ike being at the coal face, which then led to him being killed, Homer can't help but connect his death to their rocket building projects.  Because of this, Homer feels like he has to move on and he gives up on building rockets, gives up on doing well in school, gives up on most of everything after the accident.  Even when everyone is trying to encourage him, Miss Riley, Mr. Dubonnet and others, Homer is stubborn and refuses to change his mind.  Of course all this changes after he speaks to Mary Bykovski, Ike's widow.

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