Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coming Soon to a Bookstore and Library Near You!

Queen of the Track:
Alice Coachman
Olympic High-Jump Champion
Written by Heather Lang and
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Available in April from Boyds Mills Press

"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

The NCBLA congratulates our volunteer writer Heather Lang on the upcoming publication of her book Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman Olympic High-Jump Champion, available for preorder now and on shelves in bookstores and libraries in April!

Queen of the Track tells the inspiring story of Alice Coachman, an athlete who never took her eyes off the prize. 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.

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. 

Author Heather Lang remembers winning a blue ribbon in the high jump in sixth grade, clearing the bar at 3½ feet and landing on a cushy blue mat. A former attorney, she now loves to write about people who fought for their dreams, usually without the benefits of a cushy mat. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. Visit her at And be sure to check out her articles "Presidents Are People Too!" and "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Wild Animals at the White House" on the NCBLA's educational website

Illustrator Floyd Cooper had a short-lived track-and-field career as a junior-high school student in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He can still hear the voice of his coach yelling, “Go! Push! Push!” as he trained in the southern heat. Today he is the acclaimed illustrator of more than seventy-five books for children. He is the recipient of the 2009 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration as well as three Coretta Scott King Honors, ten ALA Notables, and an NAACP Image Award, among others. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania. Learn more about Floyd Cooper and his books on his website.

Ask for Queen of the Track at a bookstore or library near you!