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Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Locomotion (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Jacqueline Woodson

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1,6703114,295 (4.22)31
Authors:Jacqueline Woodson
Info:Putnam Publishing Group (2003), Paperback
Collections:Chapter Books, African American, Realistic Fiction, Poetry, Read but unowned
Tags:Overcoming obsticles

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Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (2003)

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» See also 31 mentions

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The 8th grader picked this book for his poetry free reading book for his Language Arts class. He asked me to read it too.

And I think this was an excellent choice for a poetry unit. It's poetry that is, partly, about a boy's enjoyment of his poetry unit. But this boy is 11, orphaned, and in a foster home separated from his sister. And he can express himself through poetry. ( )
  Dreesie | Feb 24, 2017 |
"Locomotion" is a novel written in the form of poetry. The narrator of the story is an 11-year old boy, Lonnie. Lonnie lost his parents in a house fire a couple years before the start of the book. He has a younger sister, Lili, and he misses her very much. The two siblings were put up in foster care after the death of their parents, and they were adopted by separate families. Lonnie is learning about poetry at school, so he uses poetry to write down his feelings and thoughts in a type of fast write, where there is no concern for errors. Lonnie grows closer in his relationship with God and learns to accept his life for what it is. The book starts off to seem hopeless and gloomy, but through his poetry, he can express his emotions and feel better about himself.

This book was written in a simple, easy to follow way and would be great for children who are just starting to learn poetry, like Lonnie. ( )
  cedauzat | Feb 23, 2017 |
"Locomotion" tells the story of an eleven-year-old boy who lost his parents in a fire four years prior to the opening of the novel. Following the death of his parents, our narrator, Lonnie, and his younger sister, Lili, are separated when the two are adopted by different families. Understandably, Lonnie is full of grief and loneliness, and it is through poetry that he learns to channel these emotions. This beautifully crafted story, therefore, is written not in prose but in verse. Each chapter is a poem supposedly written by Lonnie, and through this poetry, the reader gains a most intimate understanding of our narrator. I greatly appreciated the complexity and depth of Lonnie as a character, as it is often too easy to neglect characterization in favor of plot. I also appreciated the fact that, for the most part, the poems were all fairly straight forward and easy to follow, seeing as this is a book intended for children.

I think that many students learn to expect that poetry will be complicated and difficult, and they therefore develop a dislike for it very early on. Poetry doesn't have to be painful, however, and I think that the belief by students that it does stems from an overemphasis by teachers on the author's meaning as opposed to the reader's experience. This book, however, would allow a teacher to easily balance analysis and discussion of both the author's intent as well as the reader's interpretation, making it a perfect way of introducing poetry to young minds.

This story is both heartbreaking and inspiring, and although the book is meant for children, I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, young or old! ( )
  btbarret | Feb 23, 2017 |
Honestly, I'm not a poetry person, so I didn't really enjoy reading this book. The book is a boy named Lonnie Collins Motion (Locomotion), whose parents died years ago from a house fire. The boy and his sister are put in different foster homes. Lonnie is in school and his teacher, Miss Edna, teaches him to write as a way to let out his emotions. Lonnie's life changed when his parents died and now it changes again when Miss Edna teaches the class poetry. Through his writing, Lonnie is able to let out his feelings and share what he hasn't been able to share before. Lonnie is then finally able to see the good around him and is able to move on with his life. I like the story's message of holding on to what you have before it's gone. ( )
  Eayyad | Feb 23, 2017 |
I really love the format of this book. I am bias because I love books written in poetry verse but the way the author chose to configure the book was wonderful. The author writes in such a way that you are drawn into the story and feel so badly for this young boy and the things he had to suffer through in life. Throughout the book Lonnie holds on tightly to his memories. This seems to be like a security blanket for him and thinking back on happy memories when they were a family helps him cope. Mrs. Marcus seems to be fundamental in Lonnie's life. She gives him encouragement and empowers him to write and express himself on paper. The "Commercial Break" poem stuck out the most to me. I enjoyed the young boy's inner monolog. The teacher asks why the fact that they are white matters and in his mind he is thinking that she told him to write with many details and she must have forgotten. With that the factor of race comes into play and it introduces another aspect to his struggles. I think this is a great book full of real life situations. ( )
  AubrieSmith | Feb 23, 2017 |
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For Toshi Georginanna and Juna Franklin
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This whole book's a poem 'cause every time I try to tell the whole story my mind goes Be quiet! Only it's not my mind's voice,
It's Miss Edna's over and over and over Be quiet!
You see God everywhere these days. Especially when Miss Edna makes her sweet potato pie and when your little sister smiles
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142415529, Paperback)

When Lonnie Collins Motion was seven years old, his life changed forever. Now Lonnie is eleven and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. And suddenly, Lonnie has a whole new way to tell the world about his life, his friends, his little sister, Lili, and even his foster mom, Miss Edna, who started out crabby but isn’t so bad after all. Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical voice captures Lonnie’s thoughtful perspectives of the world and his determination to one day put a family together again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In a series of poems, eleven-year-old Lonnie writes about his life, after the death of his parents, separated from his younger sister, living in a foster home, and finding his poetic voice at school.

(summary from another edition)

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