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Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Locomotion (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Jacqueline Woodson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3622235,636 (4.16)26
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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Lonnie's parents died in a house fire when he was young, He and his sister are both in foster care but have been separated. Lonnie likes to visit his sister when he can, but he can tell her new mother does not like him that much. Lonnie finds solace in poetry. His teacher introduces him to poetry and he expresses great interest in all types of poetry. While I am not a fan of poetry, I really enjoyed the book. It kept my interest because when I flipped the page the text was written in a different form of poetry. I think this book would be great to teach to students because the text itself teaches about poetry and its different forms. ( )
  mferaci | Apr 9, 2015 |
Locomotion was an engaging book that written in a way that kept the reading interesting for me. One thing I like about the book is that it is written in poem form. This makes the text seem more readable for me because when I see a lot of words it sometimes makes me not want to read the story. I also liked how the poems were not all in the same form. Some of his poems were in free form and others were in haiku form and some did rhyme like, “sometimes / in the park / in the near dark /one comes out / you’ll hear / a little kid shout” where as other did not rhyme at all. This just helped keep the reading interesting and not monotonous. I particularly liked the haikus because they were very funny, for example, “ever been south? We / used to go all the time. That’s / another poem.”
I also liked how since the story is written in the perspective of a boy, the story is written as if a boy was actually speaking, as opposed to everything being perfectly correct. For example, “I was gonna write about Mama’s funeral but Lamont and Ms. Marcus going back and forth zapped all the ideas from my head.” The story being written like this makes the story seem more authentic, which allows me to get into the story more. The main message of this story is to be grateful for the things and people that you have in your life. Through Lonnie’s harsh journey he came to realize that the people in his life were there for him, like Mrs. Edna, who he did not like at first, but he came to realize she was actually nice and really cared for him. This book is a strong carrier of this message because even with all the hardships in Lonnie’s life, he continues to be strong and continue going and appreciates the people in his life. ( )
  MManzo2 | Apr 7, 2015 |
“Locomotion,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, tells the story of a young boy named Locomotion and is written entirely through poetry. At age seven, Locomotion and his sister, Lili, became orphans when their parents were killed in a fire. The two children were put in separate foster homes, which deeply hurt Locomotion. This story sends the message that poetry, no matter the format, can help someone get through difficult times. In the case of Locomotion, the reader sees how poetry has helped him to grieve his parents, become happier in his foster home, and have hope for a future where him and his sister will be together again. I truly love the idea of a book written through poetry and I think “Locomotion” tells some important messages; although, I was not really engaged while reading and did not personally feel any real connection to Locomotion’s character.
A literary technique this author used to convey the development of Locomotion’s character was the movement of the poems. These poems jumped from situation to situation and from time period to time period. I can see how this can give the reader an opportunity to understand and connect with Locomotion’s journey to grieve and finally feel happiness, but I found it to be too messy. I found myself constantly getting confused trying to keep up with where the story was jumping too and I feel that, because of this, I missed out on important plot details that could have connected me to the main character and the story. One aspect of this story that I did like was the character that was Locomotion’s teacher. Through characterization, the author presents Ms. Marcus’ character as an inspirational teacher that encourages her students to enjoy reading and writing poetry and to use it as an outlet for dealing with personal experiences and struggles and to give the students the opportunity to tell their personal story. I found this character to be relatable because many people had a teacher that inspired and believed in them to succeed.
Although I did not personally enjoy this story, the author does convey the message that poetry can be a powerful tool in helping someone express him or herself and help them get through difficult times. The author relays the importance of writing as an outlet through the story of Locomotion and how writing helped him grieve his parents death, find happiness in his life, and have hope that him and his sister will one day be together again.  ( )
  heathergoodman | Apr 6, 2015 |
This book is about a little boy Lonnie who lost his parents in a fire and he and his sister had to go into foster care and his sister got adopted right away and Lonnie got put in a foster home because no one wanted boys who were not babies. Throughout the book Lonnie writes down what he is feeling in all types of different poems which he is introduced to by his teacher Ms. Marcus. Lonnie does not like his foster mom at first but over time he starts to change his mind about her. Miss Edna his foster mom had raised two other boys and knows what makes them tick. When Miss Edna’s son comes home to visit is really when Lonnie started to feel like he had a family with an older brother and a mom. Lonnie did miss his little sister and figured out a way to go a see her at her adopted home. The main idea of the book is even though bad things happen, they do not always have to stay bad.

One thing I like about the book is that the author made the entire book poems from beginning to end. In the beginning of the book there is a poem even before the title page written from the main character in the book. Also the book ends with a poem called “June”. Another reason I like this book is that as Lonnie learned different kinds of poems in the book the author wrote in that different style of poetry. For example when Lonnie learned about an “Epistle Poem” the author wrote that part of the book as an epistle poem, as well as when Lonnie learned about “Haiku Poem” the author wrote that part as a haiku poem. Over all I liked the book and the way it was written. ( )
  bwinte3 | Apr 2, 2015 |
This book includes about 60 poems that tell the story of a young boy, Lonnie, who is separated from his sister Lili after their parents die in a fire tragedy. He misses his parents terribly and is hopeful that someday his sister and he will be able to be together. Lonnie is encouraged by his teaecher to write his feelings on paper and he does that by writing there poems. Wonderful book!
  Enessa | Dec 7, 2014 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:41 -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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