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Fly High!: The Story of Bessie Coleman

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  86 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The life story of the first African American to earn a pilot's license is revealed. A flight well-worth taking.--Publishers Weekly, starred review. Full color.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published 2001)
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(NS) Lisa
Bessie Coleman was born in Waxahachie, Texas, a rural community of poor cotton pickers. Bessie loved school, especially reading and learning about numbers. She knew that with schooling she could be anything that she wanted to be. She worked hard, picking cotton, walking miles to collect laundry, and learning her numbers. When she was twenty-three, she moved to Chicago. There she became a manicurist to earn money. She read the newspaper, and listened when customers told tales about French lady pi ...more
Jaclyn Giordano
Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger is a picture book biography intended for readers in grades one through five. I gave it four stars. “Someday I’ll be a pilot, small step by small step…She would fly high and be somebody.” This text chronicles the life of Bessie Coleman, the first African American to earn a pilot’s license. The story follows Bessie through her life, from picking cotton in Texas, to working in Chicago, to her time in France earning her pil ...more
Alex Baugh
Feb 06, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: randomly-reading
February is Black History Month and I thought I would begin the month with a look at the life of Bessie Coleman. Bessie was the first female African American pilot AND the first African American to hold an international pilot license. Those are certainly achievements that deserved to be honored and celebrated.

And that is precisely what Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger do in this picture book biography of Bessie. Born in 1892, Bessie was the 10th child of 13, growing up in a small house in Waxa
(NS) Becca
Nov 09, 2009 (NS) Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Bessie Coleman was a child, she wanted to be in school -- not in the cotton fields of Texas, helping her family earn money. She wanted to be somebody significant in the world. So Bessie did everything she could to learn under the most challenging of circumstances. At the end of every day in the fields she checked the foreman's numbers -- made sure his math was correct. And this was just the beginning of a life of hard work and dedication that really paid off: Bessie became the first African ...more
CH - Marvin Childress
Authors: Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger; Illustrated: Teresa Flavin; Picture Book; Grades: 2-4

Fly High! is the story of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American to earn a pilot's license...who also happened to be a woman. It chronicles her life from a little girl growing up in Texas, through moving to Chicago in 1915, and later to France in 1920, where she ultimately received her international license to fly in 1921. The story ends with her untimely death after falling from an airplane.

Aug 29, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is a well-written account of the life of Bessie Coleman. I must admit that I'd never heard of her before, so I was fascinated by her adventurous spirit and determination to achieve her dreams. The illustrations are colorful and complement the story nicely, giving the reader an idea of life back then.

I would recommend this for older children due to the fact that the book describes Bessie's untimely, tragic death. Otherwise, parents can just edit that according to a child's ability to unders
Bessie Coleman, born poor yet optimistic about her future to be somebody important, has inspired thousands of African Americans. This fine biography tells of her humble childhood and her fame as the first African-American pilot. This book illustrated by Teresa Flavin, follows Coleman's life in chronological order seperated by her travels and includes headings for each area of her life. Students ages 8-12 will find this book inspiring and teachers can use it as a read-aloud or in a small group du ...more
Kathryn Reeder
Mar 24, 2015 Kathryn Reeder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2015 Saara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Someday I’ll be a pilot, small step by small step…She would fly high and be somebody.” Bessie Coleman was not only the first female pilot but is an African American female which makes her more heroic because she fought against the norms to get where she needed to be. I was not very pleased with the ending of the book but I feel that it sets a realistic tone for children; it is an encouraging book overall because it proved that you can do anything you want if you work hard to achieve it. Bessie ...more
Jess Farabaugh
Fly High: The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden is a book appropriate for children ages 9 through 12 years old. It is a story about the first African American to earn a pilot’s license. Bessie Coleman was living in Texas picking cotton with her family to earn money but that was not where her heart truly was. She wanted to go to school and learn as much as she could. She worked as hard as she could to find anyway to learn. She believed that one day she would reach her goals and be somebody ...more
Rachael Hueg
Mar 08, 2014 Rachael Hueg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It is the inspiring story of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to pilot a plane. This book follows her through her entire life. From early life in Texas with her family to moving to Chicago to going to France to learn to fly. This is the story of her brave fight to fly and the tragic outcome of a single mistake she made.
Nov 06, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sitting in the library and had a few minutes before my next class. I decided what the heck, enough with the adult books for 10 minutes, and I grabbed a couple kids books next to me.
How convenient this was the first one I grabbed. Very inspiring true story. This woman accomplished a lot in her short lifetime, which is great for kids too read about, but for me it helped me to realize never to stop accomplishing goals no matter how hard they are to reach. Just a little extra push I needed, a
"i found a brand new world in the written word" Bessie Coleman

i've read one previous kids book about Bessie Coleman, story was "black woman gets pilots license, crashes planes, dies" boring , i didn't see anything inspiring about a failure.
NOW i know why she's a hero. Coleman grew up,passionate about reading - read to her family. discovered airplanes, went to france for flying lessons ('cause a negro woman in the u.s flying? hahaha) walked nine miles each way for them. came back to the us, retur
Megan Willis
Feb 13, 2013 Megan Willis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-rights, block-2
I do not remember learning about Bessie Coleman in school. In fact, the only African-American heroines that I remember learning about were Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. This book is the life story of Bessie Coleman. It tells how she worked her way from a daughter of a large, rural, single mother family all the way to Chicago, where she continued to work and go to school. She decided she wanted to be a pilot, even though she would be the first female American pilot. She ended up living in France ...more
May 12, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story gave a great biography of Bessie Coleman. The ending is presented to be a little bleak, but the story itself will be interesting to students. Children will be able to draw off of their knowledge of slavery and civil rights to understand this story.
Shelby Rose Rogers
I loved reading this story about Bessie Coleman! It was so inspiring, and the author and illustrator really brought her character to life through the descriptions and pictures. I would use this to talk about women's roles in society in my classroom.
Becca Holcomb
Apr 05, 2011 Becca Holcomb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a great book for Social Studies when introducing American heros or role models. This is also a great mulitcultral story since it pertains to an African-American female pilot Bessie Coleman.
Dec 06, 2012 Abbey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Fly high is a biography on Bessie Coleman. This is a really good book in that it tells a lot of information that would be valuable for students to know.
Casey Strauss
Jul 07, 2010 Casey Strauss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
This book could be used as a read aloud in a second grade classroom, but is appropriate for grades 2-6 because of the level of text and amount of information.
A great book about an African American woman pilot from Chicago!
Lauren Livingston
Lauren Livingston marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2016
Joyce Yattoni
Joyce Yattoni marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
J. rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2016
Marika marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2016
Caitlin Zonder
Caitlin Zonder marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2016
Lindsae Williams
Lindsae Williams marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
Shannan Hicks
Shannan Hicks rated it it was ok
May 11, 2016
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There were already two Louises in my family when I was born: my mother and my grandmother, Nana, who lived with us when I was growing up. So early on, I was given the name Leezie. This is a name that my family still calls me. Years later, my niece was born and also named Louise. Then there were four of us with the same name! Louise is a fine name to have except that people often spell it incorrect ...more
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