Queen of the Track
Get to know Alice
"It's my wish that every young person read this inspiring book. Alice Coachman is truly a hero and her accomplishments remind us all to never give up when the odds are against us."
—Jackie Joyner Kersee, Olympic gold medalist
"Lang's descriptive text and Cooper's signature sepia-tone oil illustrations offer a rich, deep depiction of Coachman's determination to overcome obstacles."
"[T]his biography stands out for the lesser-known details it includes . . . 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
"Lang has done her homework on Coachman."
—The Nonfiction Detectives
"[A]ccessible enough to appeal to new readers, and detailed enough to jump-start students looking for an excellent candidate for a National History Day project."
—The Denver Post
Unpacking the Power of Picture Books: Heather Lang and Floyd Cooper discuss the writing and illustration of Queen of the Track
2013-2014 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Winner
2013 Amelia Bloomer Project List
2013 CCBC Choice
2012 ALA Notable Nominee
When Alice Coachman was a girl, most white people wouldn't 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. Here is the inspiring story of an athlete who never took her eyes off the prize.
Floyd Cooper is the award-winning illustrator of more than 75 books for children. You can visit him at
*A portion of the author's royalties will be donated to the Alice Coachman Foundation,
which helps deserving and proven amateur athletes reach their full potential.
Boyds Mills Press
Ages: 5 and up
Queen of the Track trailer
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