Today is National Aviation Day, which began in 1939 to celebrate aviation and the birthday of aviation pioneer Oriville Wright. Other great aviators in history include Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes and Charles Lindberg, whose daughter, Pamela Paprone wrote Nobody Owns the Sky, a wonderful picture that tells the story of African-Aerican female pilot Bessie Coleman, also knowns as about “Brave Bessie.”
Written in fun rhyme, Nobody Owns the Sky
takes the reader on a fun ride and tells how “Brave Bessie” came to be the the first African-American pilot – man or woman, in the United States.
Here are a few historical facts children will learn from the book:
- As a Bessie worked picking cotton. After graduating high school, she went off to college but she couldn’t stay because she didn’t have the money.
- When she earned enough money to get flying lessons, Bessie was turned away from U.S. flying schools, so she went to learn to fly in Paris, France.
- She was called “Brave Bessie” because of the daredevil stunts she performed in air shows all over the U.S.
Growing up in the south, Bessie was constantly told that she couldn’t become a pilot because she was black, and a woman, but she didn’t take no for an answer. And although it was her daring stunts that eventually caused her death, Bessie lived bravely, going after her dreams, despite being told that her dreams were unrealistic. Bessie defied the odds and proved, as the name of the book states that nobody owns the sky!