Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper

by Ann Malaspina and Eric Velasquez

Alice Coachman’s teacher “saw something special in that never-sit-still... read more

Alice Coachman’s teacher “saw something special in that never-sit-still girl” and took Alice to her first track meet. Alice was captivated. She and her friends made a high bar out of sticks and a rag, and Alice started jumping. She eventually jumped all the way to Tuskegee Institute High School, where she sewed and mopped to pay her fees. Then she jumped onto the U.S. Olympic team. At the 1948 Olympics in London, she jumped her way to gold. A lively, informative picture book biography acknowledges the barriers that this spirited African American girl faced as a child and young woman, from criticism at home early on for her unladylike ways to the racism that was a reality in the wider world. Throughout, Alice’s energy and determination remained undaunted. End matter includes black-and-white photos of Alice and an author’s note describing how Alice was hailed as a hero by Blacks and whites alike when she returned to the United States and her home town of Albany, Georgia. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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