Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (2003) published by Puffin books and a Coretta Scott King Honor book, is about eleven-year-old Lonnie, or as his parents nicknamed him Locomotion after the song, who shares his heartbreaking story through poetry. When Lonnie was seven-years-olds him and his younger sister Lili lost their parents in a fire. The story takes place as Lonnie is in his new foster home as he and Lili have been separated into different foster homes because Lili’s foster parents don’t want an older boy, but Lonnie hasn’t given up on one day living with his sister again. From the help of his teacher Ms. Marcus, Lonnie learns how to express himself through poetry and it is through poetry that Lonnie shares how he misses his parents and his sister, how he has come to accept his foster family and see it as his home, and shares his beliefs about God. Through Lonnie’s poems readers see the remarkable love Lonnie has for his family and how he is determined to do whatever it takes to be with his sister again, even if that means believing in a God he is not sure about, but will Lonnie and Lili ever live in the same house again?

I would suggest this story to those 10-years-old and older. I would especially suggest this story to those who enjoy poetry and want to learn more about the different form of poetry and how to use poetry to tell a story. This is a great story for young boys as it portrays a strong and positive role model for young, particularly African American, boys. I also think this is an excellent story for those wanting to learn how to express their emotions in a positive way as you can see throughout this book how much poetry has helped Lonnie express himself.


About the Author: Jacqueline Woodson

More on the Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Lesson Plan, Summary, and Discussion Questions and Answers


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