A serviceablc biography in the Traiblazers series about the brief and incandescent life of Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Hart (Flying Free, 1992, not reviewed, etc.) works with limited contemporary sources to reconstruct the astonishing career of Coleman. She grew up in Waxahachie, Texas, where she somehow conceived of and maintained a passion for flight. In Chicago, she found a patron who financed a trip to France in 1921; there she earned her pilot's license. Returning to the US, Coleman scrambled for funds to continue training and to buy her own plane, both hindered and heartened by the predictable public response to a black female flyer. She died in a crash in an old Jenny--the only plane she could afford. Hart is sentimental and didactic in depicting the complexities of Coleman's life and the depth of her obsession with flying. Hers is a fabulous story, however, and ought to be told and retold.