Fly High!

The Story of Bessie Coleman

Fly High!

Illustrated by: Teresa Flavin
For Ages: 9 - 12
  • 1
When Bessie Coleman was a child, she wanted to be in school -- not in the cotton fields of Texas, helping her family earn money. She wanted to be somebody significant in the world. So Bessie did everything she could to learn under the most challenging of circumstances. At the end of every day in the fields she checked the foreman's numbers -- made sure his math was correct. And this was just the beginning of a life of hard work and dedication that really paid off: Bessie became the first African-American to earn a pilot's license. She was somebody.
  • Aladdin | 
  • 40 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689864629 | 
  • January 2004 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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Besse Coleman was born in rural Texas in 1892. She loved school, especially learning about numbers, and she was a good reader, too. Yet when it was time to pick cotton she had to work in the fields instead of going to school. Nevertheless, she was determined to be somebody when she grew up.
In her early twenties, Bessie moved to Chicago. Perhaps there she could "find a bigger life." In the city, Bessie heard many tales of World War I from returned veterans. She also heard there...

About the Authors

Louise Borden
Photograph by Robert Flischel

Louise Borden

Louise Borden graduated from Denison University with a degree in history. She taught first graders and preschoolers and later was a part-owner of a bookstore in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to writing children’s books, she also speaks regularly to young students about the writing process. Her books include Good Luck, Mrs. K!, which won the Christopher Medal, and The A+ Custodian. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and you can visit her at LouiseBorden.com.

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