Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman Olympic High-Jump Champion

( 4 )

Overview

At the 1948 Olympics in London, members of the U.S. Women’s Track and Field team went down to defeat one by one. Any hope of winning rested on Alice Coachman. Thousands of spectators stayed late for the high-jump event and witnessed history as she became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. In time for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, this book follows Coachman on her journey from rural Georgia, where she overcame adversity both as a woman and as a black athlete, to her triumph in ...

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Overview

At the 1948 Olympics in London, members of the U.S. Women’s Track and Field team went down to defeat one by one. Any hope of winning rested on Alice Coachman. Thousands of spectators stayed late for the high-jump event and witnessed history as she became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. In time for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, this book follows Coachman on her journey from rural Georgia, where she overcame adversity both as a woman and as a black athlete, to her triumph in Wembly Stadium.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Coachman, the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, was born in poverty in Georgia in 1922. She always loved to run and jump and would sneak off to do it even when it meant punishment. Lang brings her subject's early years to life through small details, like the fact that she ran so fast that she was able to deliver still-hot meals as a rescue worker in the aftermath of a 1940 tornado, and the difficulties of traveling to meets and events during segregation. The bulk of the story, though, focuses on Coachman's Olympic dreams, which were put on hold during World War II, when the games were canceled twice. Finally, in 1948, she traveled to war-weary London to compete and narrowly defeated her toughest opponent with a record-setting high jump. Cooper's pastels keep to a brown, grainy palette, recalling the Georgia dirt on which the track star ran as a child. While this book is a fine, if talky, introduction to an inspiring athlete, Ann Malespina's Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper (Albert Whitman, 2011), with its vivid prose-poem text and glowing oils by Eric Velasquez, might have more immediate appeal.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590788509
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 766,510
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Lang first put to use her passion for writing and research as a public-health attorney. Like Alice Coachman, Heather loved running and jumping and beating the boys, especially her twin brother. This is her first picture book. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Floyd Cooper has brought his artistic vision to more than sixty books and over two thousand book jackets. He is a recipient of the 2009 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, as well as three Coretta Scott King Honors, ten ALA Notables, and an NAACP Image Award, among other honors. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2012

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    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    True story of Alice Coachman's struggle and determination to ach

    True story of Alice Coachman's struggle and determination to achieve her dream of winning an Olympic Gold Medal. An inspirational read for kids about never giving up.


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Perseverance Pays Off

    Debut author Heather Lang and Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper have done a remarkable job of bringing Olympic medalist Alice Coachman to life for young readers. Coachman's life-long determination and dedication to her sport will inspire readers of all ages. This timely book is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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