Cover image for Talkin' about Bessie : the story of aviator Elizabeth Coleman
Title:
Talkin' about Bessie : the story of aviator Elizabeth Coleman
Author:
Grimes, Nikki.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Summary:
A biography of the woman who became the first licensed Afro-American pilot.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
970 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.1 1.0 67497.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.9 4 Quiz: 31813 Guided reading level: T.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780439352437
Format :
Book

Available:*

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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Reference
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Black History
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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TL540.C646 G75 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights.

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn't do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn't let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African -American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.


Author Notes

Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. She began writing poetry at age six and is well-known for writing award-winning books primarily for children and young adults. Bronx Masquerade and Talkin' About Bessie both won Coretta Scott King Awards, and her poetry collections featuring Danitra Brown are very popular. Grimes received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 2006.

She has written articles for magazines including Essence and Today's Christian Woman, as well as hosted radio programs in New York and Sweden. She has lectured and read her poetry at schools in Russia, China, Sweden, and Tanzania. Grimes is also a prolific artist, creating works of fiber art, beaded jewelry, peyote beading, handmade cards, and photography.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-5. In a volume that looks like a picture book and reads like a series of closely related poems, Grimes offers a many-sided portrait of the first African American aviatrix, Bessie Coleman. Following a brief introduction to Coleman's life, the story, couched in a fictional framework, opens in the parlor of a house in Chicago, where friends and relatives gather to mourn Bessie's death. Each spread features one person speaking about Bessie. A full-page watercolor faces a page with a small picture of the speaker and a free-verse reminiscence. The speakers range from mother to sister to flight instructor to news reporter, but teller by teller, the story moves chronologically and builds emotionally to the last entry, where Bessie speaks of the joy of flying. On the last page, Grimes comments on Coleman's life. Lewis' paintings, subdued in tone and color, reflect the spirit of the verse through telling details and sensitive, impressionistic portrayals. The verse reads aloud beautifully, making it a good choice for readers' theater. The book will also work well for reading aloud as the artwork shows up to good advantage from a distance. Although there have been other books about Coleman, this is a fine, original portrayal. --Carolyn Phelan


Publisher's Weekly Review

Historic flights take the spotlight in two fall titles. Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes, illus. by E.B. Lewis, recalls the life of the world's first licensed African-American female pilot through 20 eulogies, fictionalized perspectives based on actual people. "I remember that bone-chillin' January day in 1892/ when Bessie's first cry raised the roof/ off that dirt-floor cabin, back in Texas," Bessie's father, George Coleman, begins. Newspaper editor Robert Abbott tells of her enrollment in a French flight school ("No flight school/ in our color-minded nation/ would accept a woman, or a Negro"). Lewis's elegant inset portraits appear alongside the words of each speaker; full-bleed, full-page paintings illustrate dramatic moments in Coleman's life. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Born in poverty, Bessie Coleman overcame many obstacles to become a pilot, and only her untimely death kept her from opening the first flight school for African Americans. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.