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FLY, BESSIE, FLY by Lynn Joseph

FLY, BESSIE, FLY

By Lynn Joseph (Author) , Yvonne Buchanan (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-689-81339-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Joseph (Jump Up Time, p. 1119, etc.) uses a strong, steady present-tense narration to tell the story of Bessie Coleman, African-American, Texan, and world’s first black woman aviator. What makes this treatment appealing is that Coleman’s life lends itself to hyperbole, but Joseph reigns it in, imbuing the story with power and dignity. It will make readers angry at the injustices of the era: Jim Crow laws, whites-only ticket lines, Coleman’s trip to France to get her pilot’s license because her aspirations were considered absurd in the US. Joseph allows inspiration to form from a quiet presentation of facts; adding to the aura of possibility and grace under fire are Buchanan’s sure, atmospheric ink-and-watercolor illustrations. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)