Thursday, January 4, 2018

#tbt: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

I chose this title for #tbt in honor of Jacqueline Woodson's appointment as our sixth National Ambassador for Children's Literature.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. 112 p. Penguin Young Readers Group, January, 2003. 9780399231155. (Own.)

The cover has gone through some changes over the years.


Lonnie is eleven and still grieving the death of his parents in a fire as well as his separation from his sister when the two went into foster care. His nickname, Locomotion comes from the fact that his name is Lonnie Collins Motion as well as his energy and constant need to move. His foster mother, Ms. Edna is stern, but Lonnie recognizes her basic kindness. He adores his teacher, Ms. Marcus, who sees the poet in him and draws it out.

Slowly, the reader learns Lonnie's story and falls in love. Woodson wrote a sequel called Peace, Locomotion in 2009. This one is a series of letters from Lonnie to his beloved sister, Lili.

I do believe that this is the first Jacqueline Woodson book I read but it was certainly not the last. From picture books through her YA titles, Woodson has a talent for connecting her readers intensely. Her characters and setting are vivid and memorable. Locomotion was a National Book Award Finalist.

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