Happy Birthday Bessie Coleman: 7 Books For Young Readers To Discover The Courageous Aviator

When it comes to non-fiction books that cover the same topic or subject, there’s a lot of redundancies. There’s only so much information research will uncover. It’s still worth doing a little reading around, however, if you’re fascinated by a subject. Personally, I never get sick of books about WWII. In honor of aviator Bessie Coleman’s birthday, I’ve curated a list of books, mostly non-fiction with 1 fictionalized narrative, about the fearless woman who was the first Black female pilot.


1. Bessie Coleman: First Black Woman Pilot by Connie Plantz

A simple, straightforward biography, such as Bessie Coleman: First Black Woman Pilot, is a great place to start for readers who are unfamiliar with Coleman’s incredible life.


Source: Amazon

2. Up in the Air: The Story of Bessie Coleman by Philip S. Hart

This is another simple biography, but it’s shorter and aimed at a younger audience. This is a great choice for upper elementary students.


Source: Amazon

3. Bessie Coleman: Daring To Fly by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Janice Lee Porter

This book is a part of the On My Own Biography Scholastic imprint, and is a great choice for early elementary readers.


Source: Amazon

 4. Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of Brave Bessie Coleman by Reeve Lindbergh, illustrated by Pamela Paparone

This beautiful picture honors the memory of Bessie with Paprone’s charming illustrations and Lindbergh’s narrative poem.


Source: Amazon

5. Fly, Bessie, Fly by Lynn Joseph, illustrated by Yvonne Buchanan

Lynn Joseph gives readers a more personal perspective with her book that looks through Bessie Coleman’s lens and her dream to fly. Coupled with breathtaking watercolor illustrations, this is a great choice for any eager young reader.


Source: Amazon

6. Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

This carefully crafted biography combines elements of all the other books on this list so far, though takes a unique approach through a series of fictional interviews that cover the facts and amazing feats of Bessie’s life.


Source: Amazon

7. Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

This historical fiction novel is for the reader who shies away from non-fiction. Smith weaves a captivating narrative that will hold even a picky reader’s attention, and although the novel isn’t explicitly about Bessie Coleman, it’s ripe with issues that impacted the aviator’s life and career.


Source: Amazon

What book will you read on your own, or to a kiddo, to honor the life of Bessie Coleman?

YouTube Channel: TheAvWriter


Featured image via Biography