Sonny- Was given the name Homer Hickam Jr. when he was born, but his mother started calling him “Sonny” because of his personality. One of the main BCMA leaders/scientists.The young narrator and protagonist of Rocket Boys, Homer Hickam, Jr. is a curious, adventurous, and ambitious teenager from the town of Coalwood, West Virginia. During the course of the book, Homer, inspired by the onset of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, endeavors to build rockets like his hero, Dr. Wernher von Braun. He makes a group, the BCMA, composed of his high school friends, which builds and launches rockets. Because his projects inspire a huge amount of ridicule and mockery from the townspeople of Coalwood, Homer becomes braver and more passionate with each rocket he designs. By building rockets, Homer strengthens his desire to become a NASA engineer and escape the career that his father, Homer Hickam, Sr., has planned for him—as an engineer in Coalwood’s mines. While this desire occasionally causes Homer to despise his hometown, he comes to respect the people of Coalwood and accept their sincere support of his dreams. As an adult—indeed, the narrator of Rocket Boys—Homer looks back on his childhood in Coalwood with regret and sadness, but also nostalgia and appreciation. Quentin- The head “scientist” of the BCMA, Quentin is a nerdy, socially inept teenager. Nevertheless, he’s a brilliant mathematician and a talented researcher who gives the BCMA some of their most important ideas regarding propulsion. While Sonny and his friends initially find Quentin irritating, they eventually develop a grudging respect for his intellect, following by a genuine respect for him as a friend.Quentin goes on to become a successful engineer. Sonny’s Father- Sonny’s father who worked in the mines. When he was in high school the Captain saw him as a prodege and was trained. When Sonny was 11, Captain retired and he took over. The father of Homer Hickam Jr., Homer Hickam Sr. is a strong, stoic employee of the mining company, the institution that dominates life in Coalwood. Homer Sr. is devoted to Coalwood’s mine: he works long hours there, going far above and beyond the requirements of his job, and even continues working there when the doctors diagnose a deadly “black spot” in his lungs. Like his son, Homer Sr. is an ambitious man, and has managed to attain a position as the mine superintendent, despite having no college degree.. During the course of Rocket Boys, Homer Sr. shows occasional signs of supporting his son’s interests in rocketry and engineering, but these signs are nearly always tempered by his sense of disappointment: he’s upset that Homer Jr. doesn’t want to be a mining engineer.Jake Mosby- A young engineer from Ohio, Jake Mosby comes from a wealthy family, and frequently shows off his wealth by driving expensive cars and going on expensive dates. Jake is nonetheless a wise, likeable young man who supports Homer and his friends in their rocketry, and gives Homer valuable advice about fate and destiny. Jake also pays off the BCMA’s debts to Mr. Van Dyke. Miss Riley- The chemistry teacher at Big Creek High School, Miss Riley is enormously important in encouraging Sonny and his friends to continue experimenting with rockets. Her lessons give Sonny and Quentin many ideas for rocket fuel, and with her encouraging, Sonny enters the county science fair and wins. Miss Riley is a tragic, almost saintly, figure, since she expresses nothing but love and support for Sonny and his friends, but is nonetheless diagnosed with cancer and dies at a young age. Sonny has tremendous respect for Miss Riley, and says on more than one occasion that he loves her with all his heart. , and even gives him some useful advice about how to prepare rocket fuel and design rocket casings. John Dubonnet-The leader of the Coalwood miners’ union, John Dubonnet quarrels with Homer Sr. throughout Rocket Boys. At the same time, he enthusiastically supports Sonny’s experiments with rockets, and even gives him some useful advice about how to prepare rocket fuel and design rocket casings. Dubonnet is a man of great integrity, who has the utmost respect for workers’ rights. Tragically, he becomes a figure of ridicule and mockery after he encourages his workers to continue laboring in the mines instead of going on strike again. Sonny’s Mother- The mother of Homer Hickam Jr. and the wife of Homer Hickam Sr., Elsie Lavender Hickam is an intelligent, ambitious, and supportive woman. She frequently quarrels with her husband about life in the mines. Although most of her family is involved in mining, she despises every aspect of the life of a miner. Largely for this reason, she encourages Sonny to pursue his dreams of building rockets, as she believes that rocketry will help Sonny attend college and escape the mines. Much like Sonny himself, Elsie feels a curious distance between herself and Homer Sr. Her distance becomes literal as well as metaphorical at the end of Rocket Boys, when she announces that she’s moving to Myrtle Beach, far from the Coalwood mine. Dr. Werner von Braun- The legendary German rocket scientist, and an idol of Sonny’s. Werner von Braun played an important role in the military offensive of Hitler’s Third Reich, designing the deadly V-2 rockets, which did tremendous damage to London during the 1940s. Nevertheless, von Braun became a loyal supporter of the United States after the fall of the Third Reich. He used his brilliance to build sophisticated rockets for the American military and NASA, and was arguably the single most important figure involved in putting a man on the moon. Despite his legacy as a brilliant scientist, von Braun remains a controversial figure, since his brilliance indisputably aided the Nazi war effort. This controversy shows up at several points in Rocket Boys, making Sonny question his worshipful feelings for von Braun.