Here is a story of perseverance and unwavering ambition that follows Alice 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 in the 1948 London Olympics.
When Alice Coachman was a girl, most white people wouldn’t even shake her hand. Yet when the King of England placed an Olympic medal around her neck, he extended his hand to Alice in congratulations. Standing on a podium in London’s Wembley Stadium, Alice was a long way from the fields of Georgia where she ran barefoot as a child. With a record-breaking leap, she had become the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. This inspirational picture book is perfect to celebrate Women’s History Month or to share any day of the year.
“Lang brings her subject’s early years to life through small details. . . . Cooper’s pastels keep to a brown, grainy palette, recalling the Georgia dirt on which the track star ran as a child.” — School Library Journal
“From the hardships of her Georgia childhood through the 1948 London Olympics at which she won gold and became a legend, this biography stands out for the lesser-known details it includes (e.g. Coachman’s dance performance aboard the London-bound ship). Cooper’s grainy sepia-hued pastels are striking; endnotes with more about Coachman and the historic 1948 Olympics support the thorough text.” — The Horn Book