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Review: Locomotion

July 18, 2015


Lonnie’s parents died in a house fire when he was seven.  No one would take both Lonnie and his little sister, Lili, so they’re in separate foster homes.  Lonnie lives with Miss Edna who’s kind to him but he still misses his parents and his sister like crazy.  Lonnie’s new teacher, Ms. Marcus, encourages him to write and he discovers a whole new way to express himself.

Writing makes me remember.
It’s like my whole family comes back again
when I write.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson is a wonderful story of an eleven year old boy trying to put his life back together again.  Lonnie was in a group home for a little while after his parents passed away, because not many people want boys who aren’t babies, so he knows things aren’t too bad with Miss Edna.  He’s cautious and quiet, though, because he doesn’t know where life will take him next.  Math is a struggle for Lonnie but writing and poetry are helping him figure out his jumbled feelings.

I’m in awe of Woodson’s talent.  Locomotion is written in free verse from Lonnie’s point of view and it is nothing short of marvelous.  I adored Lonnie – his life is sad yet his writing is hopeful.  With the help of his teacher, he’s finally found a voice to express all those feelings he has bottled up inside.  This book gives readers a lot to think about including family, individuality, and foster care.  I highly recommend it to middle grade readers on up.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2015 5:15 am

    Not just good writing, the emotions expressed must be pretty moving too.

  2. July 18, 2015 9:45 am

    I am in awe of Woodson too. I don’t think she ever has a “miss.”

  3. July 18, 2015 10:47 am

    I bet my granddaughter would like this, even though it’s sad.

  4. Patty permalink
    July 18, 2015 2:49 pm

    It sounds lovely…I live books like this!

  5. Patty permalink
    July 18, 2015 2:50 pm

    Live is love…my iPad refuses to believe I love anything…i

  6. July 18, 2015 2:58 pm

    sounds very moving.

  7. Diane permalink
    July 18, 2015 5:08 pm

    Oh wow Kathy – sounds sad but a way for working through grief.

  8. July 18, 2015 10:38 pm

    This sounds really wonderful. I want to read more of Woodson’s work and will look for this one for sure.

  9. July 18, 2015 10:55 pm

    The foster system is something I’ve always been interested in so I’m going to look for this one, even if the free verse worries me 🙂

  10. July 19, 2015 9:48 am

    I love Woodson. The few books of hers I’ve read were all incredible.

  11. Literary Feline permalink
    July 19, 2015 9:46 pm

    This sounds like an amazing book.

  12. July 19, 2015 11:25 pm

    Thanks for the review! This book sounds like it will be sad but helpful for people going through grief or difficult times.

  13. July 20, 2015 12:55 am

    This does sound wonderful, Kathy. Terrific review!

  14. July 20, 2015 12:05 pm

    This sounds like a good book, and I really liked her other one, Brown Girl Dreaming!

  15. bookingmama permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:20 am

    Sounds amazing! She’s definitely a talented writer! I need to check her out.

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