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Fast Enough

Regular price $ 17.99

by Joel Christian Gill

Lion Forge

2/5/2019, hardcover

SKU: 9781549303142

 

This picture book combines an imagined story of Bessie Stringfield as a young girl with historical facts about how, as an adult, Bessie went on to become the first African-American woman to travel solo across the United States on a motorcycle in the 1930s and O40s. Full color.x 10

 

"Have you ever been told that you're not enough? That you're not strong enough, tall enough, fast enough? Bessie was told she was not enough. Bessie dreams of riding her bike with the boys after school, but they tell her she is not fast enough. When she finally gets a chance to race, she proves not only that she is fast enough, but she is faster. [This book] combines an imagined story of Bessie Stringfield as a young girl with historical facts about Bessie as an adult. Bessie Stringfield went on to become the first African-American woman to travel solo across the United States on a motorcycle"--

 

IRKUS (STARRED) -- Future black female motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield triumphs over boys who say she can't join their daily bike races in this fictional imagining of her childhood. "Have you ever been told you are not enough?" Bessie was. Boys, black and white, are shown telling this darker-skinned girl with very large afro puffs that she isn't "pretty enough" or "tough enough." After school, they race past her, laughing when she says she wants to join them. Downcast, Bessie asks Mama if "girls can ride [bikes] fast," to which Mama replies, "the only one who knows for sure is the Man Upstairs." At bedtime, she asks in prayer, with one eye open, and then falls asleep. In her dream, she rides like magic through vast landscapes and cityscapes, so fast "she even raced up into the night sky." She wakes up ready, and that afternoon, when the boys say "Go!" she zooms past them, astonishing everyone. Dark brown, gold, and neutral tones dominate the captivating scenes, which segue skillfully into paragraphs of backmatter information in smaller font about Stringfield's impressive exploits. She traveled widely on her motorcycle(s) in the mid-20th century, using the Negro Motorist Green Book to stay safe when riding across America. Discrepancies between different versions of her life story are explained as an example of how legends grow. A playful introduction to Bessie's exciting, triumphant, and unforgettable story. (Picture book. 5-9)