Touch the Sky by Ann Malaspina
Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper

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"Bare feet shouldn't fly. Long legs shouldn't spin. Braids shouldn't flap in the wind. 'Sit on the porch and be a lady,' Papa scolded Alice." In Alice's Georgia hometown, there was no track where an African-American girl could practice, so she made her own crossbar with sticks and rags. With the support of her coach, friends, and community, Alice started to win medals. Her dream to compete at the Olympics came true in 1948. This is an inspiring free-verse story of the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Photos of Alice Coachman are also included.

About Ann Malaspina

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Even as a child, Ann Malaspina liked to write stories. Ann has written numerous books for young people including Finding Lincoln and Phillis Sings Out Freedom. Ann lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a child, his love for doodling and drawing was strongly encouraged by his mother. From his grandmother he inherited a love of music and from his father he developed a love of movies. Growing up in this setting, Eric says, "Becoming an artist was a natural choice for me. I have never thought of being anything else."
Published January 1, 2012 by Albert Whitman & Company. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books.

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But Alice preferred racing down the road, “Bare feet flying, / long legs spinning, / braids flapping / in the wind.” She’d play basketball with the boys at recess, make her own high-jump bar with rags tied to sticks and practice, practice, practice.

Dec 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman...


A biography of the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, from her childhood in segregated Albany, Georgia, in the 1930s, through her recognition at the 1996 Olympics as one of the hundred best athletes in Olympic history.

Jul 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman...

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