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Locomotion (Locomotion #1)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,062 Ratings  ·  700 Reviews
When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he's eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because "not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain't babies." But Lonnie hasn't given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She's already raised two sons ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published January 6th 2003 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2003)
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Dec 08, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
by Jacquline Woodson

This book I found hidden in the book corner of my Year 5 classroom. The name and cover intrigued me as the title and cover didn’t appear very child friendly or very appealing for a 10 year old. This book is based on the poems of a young orphan Lonnie whose life changed dramatically when his parents died. He and his younger sister were separated and fostered into very different homes on the opposite side of the city.

Lonnie is an angry boy who has become dis-involve
"See why I had to make it your name?
Lonnie Collins Motion, Mama would say.
Lo Co Motion
-pg. 21, "How I Got My Name"

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of Lonnie Collins Motion (nicknamed Lo Co Motion by his mother), who at just 11 years old has already gone through some pretty traumatic life experiences. When Lonnie was 7, both of his parents died in a house fire. Not only did Lonnie lose his parents, he also is separated from his younger sister Lili as they are put in separat
Mar 07, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson is the story of Lonnie, nicknamed Locomotion, an eleven year old boy who has been living with Miss Edna, his foster mom since his parents passed away in a fire when he was seven. He is learning how to express his feelings through poetry, which he is working on in class with his teacher Ms. Marcus. His younger sister lives in another foster home and they see each other occasionally.

This is the first time I've read such a long story written through a series of poem
Isaac Hernandez
Mar 04, 2016 Isaac Hernandez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book if you are into poetry! This book is about a boy who lost his parents in a house fire and is made to go live in a boys home where he soon makes friends, and gets in trouble a lot. While he lives in this boys home they also send him to school, and at school he has this teacher who tells him to write his life story, but not in the format a normal story is read, she tells him to write in poetry so he can express himself more. he goes to school and starts to remember thing about ...more
Jun 01, 2016 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The poems tell the issues Lonny, the main character. His parents died in a fire and only his sister survived apart from him. His sister has a new mom but she doesn't like him very much. His teacher Ms.Marcus is teaching the students poetry and she teaches Lonnie to write his feelings down. He writes about memories of his family,friends and himself.

This book reminds me of all the memories with my father and adventures we had together before I left to explore the world and meet new people. I think
Nov 06, 2013 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This book was well written and kept my attention the whole time. It was an easy read that allowed me to capture the story in about one sitting. The book is about a boy named Lonnie that has been dealt some hard times. His parents died in a fire within their home, and he and his younger sister were sent to live different homes of people that basically adopted them.
In school, Lonnie’s teacher is having them write poetry books. Lonnie fills his poetry book about his life, both currently and in the
Jun 10, 2010 Q_joanneknowles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students learning poetry
Shelves: poetry-plays
Locomotion is the story of Lonnie Collins Motion, whose mother used to call him Locomotion. When he was seven, his life changed forever because his parents died. Now Lonnie is eleven and he's in a different foster home than his sister, and he struggles with his identity and what "home" means to him. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, shows him how to put his feelings on paper when he writes poetry. The book is a collection of poems written by Locomotion in various poetry styles. It would be an excellent b ...more
Mar 12, 2013 CH13_Kieran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I found Jacqueline Woodson's book to be a combination of inspiring poetry but a rather flat storyline. I think the concept of presenting a novel in free verse is fascinating. A book of poetry that tells a great story would be an excellent way to introduce students to poetry. However, that is the key. It must tell a great story! I think the story of Locomotion is a tragic, touching one. However, there is a lack of connection to the characters simply because there is not a lot of movement within t ...more
May 01, 2010 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From School Library Journal
"Lonnie Collins Motion, the Locomotion of the title, is a New York City fifth grader with a gifted teacher who assigns her class to write different forms of poetry. The house fire that killed Lonnie's parents and the four years of trauma and slow healing that follow are gradually revealed through his writings. In a masterful use of voice, Woodson allows Lonnie's poems to tell a complex story of loss and grief and to create a gritty, urban environment. Despite t
Mar 21, 2010 Ch_jank-caporale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Lonnie Collins Motion- LoCoMotion- remembers dancing with his mother and his sister to the locomotion song. He remembers the tinkle of his mother's laughter and the smell of her Hibiscus talc. He remembers his mother and father who were the heart of his home, and his sister, Lili, who nows lives in a different world.
Poetry is such a good vehicle for telling this story. Lonnie recalls sweet rememberings, the nightmares of the fire that destroyed his previous life, the rare and all-too-short visit
Mar 12, 2010 Lauma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
*Novel in Verse
*Recommended for ages 10 - 14
*Locomotion was honored by many state and national awards such as: National Book Award finalist, Coretta Scott King Honor, and 2003 Horn Book Award (Fiction-Honor)
*Jaqueline Woodson has also earned awards for many of her other books, including the 2006 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Locomotion is a very accessible story told in verse, with each chapter poetically sharing the thoughts and feelings of an eleven year old boy whose real
L-Crystal Wlodek
Locomotion is a poetic novel that I listened to in the form of an audiobook. It is recommended for students in grades 4-6. It is narrated by an 11 year old boy named Lonnie Collins Motion, who is nicknamed Locomotion. When he was seven years old, his life changed forever with his parent’s death. He is now eleven, and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper through poetry. This allows him to tell the world about his life ...more
Evelyn Chen
Jan 17, 2010 Evelyn Chen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
APA Citation:
Woodson, Jacqueline. (2003) Locomotion /New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons,

Interest/Reading Level: Grades 6-8

Lonnie Collins (age 11) lost his parents in a tragic fire four years ago and since then he has been under the care of Miss Edna, who apparently does not like boys. Lonnie Collins (Locomotion), encouraged by his teacher Ms. Marcus, writes poems to assuage his knotted feelings of being in a foster home and being separated from his younger sister Lili. As the reader progresse
May 15, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
The moving story of a young boy recovering from family tragedy, told entirely through a series of free-verse poems. Lonnie Collins Motion, nicknamed Locomotion, has trouble communicating his feelings and dealing with his grief, so his fifth-grade teacher introduces him to poetry as a means of self-expression. Lonnie discovers a hidden talent and a budding love for various poetic forms as the reader discovers the nature of Lonnie’s loss and gradual recovery. Through Lonnie’s poems, readers see hi ...more
I initially chose this book because a student in my classroom was reading it and I was curious about it. It was not the typical book that this student chooses.

Locomotion is written in free verse about twelve-year old Lonnie Collins Motion (LoCoMotion) and his struggle to navigate the world successfully after the passing of his parents. This book is told in journal-format and we begin to understand how to live in his foster home, see his sister and deal with the nightmares involved with losing hi
Mar 16, 2010 Dena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Reading Level:Middle School
11 year old Lonnie Motion's life changed four years ago when his parents were killed in a fire. He and his sister Lili are eventually placed in seperate foster homes. Through a teacher's encouragement to write free verse poetry, Lonnie's adjustment to living with Miss Edna and his loss of family are beutifully composed in an eleven year olds voice as he takes us through a school year and lets us in to see his continued pain and journey to find a sense of "family" with
Teri Weaver
Jan 24, 2010 Teri Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
I was surprised at how much I liked this book because it was told through poems and I didn't think that it would be so powerful. The story tells the sad, poignant story of a sorrowful young boy in a foster home. His world is inundated with thoughts of his family who died in a fire. The reader is able to emphasize with him through his thoughts and feelings of loss. His love for his sister is painfully evident and their separation hurts him deeply. Some realities of foster home life are apparent i ...more
This book was OK but it wasn't a book I would read again or recommend to someone. The whole story in this book was written in poems. I don't always understand poems. Also the story was sort of simple and I felt like I heard It before. The story was about a boy who lost his parents in a fire and now lives in a foster home, separated from his little sister who was adopted. The boy, the main character, Lonnie is a very strong character. I got to know how he feels through his poems. I felt bad for h ...more
Linda Lipko
Oct 12, 2011 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
WOW! What a wonderful book!!! It is no surprise why this author is the recipient of so many awards, including the Coretta Scott King award, a Newbery Honor medal and the Margaret A. Edwards award for Lifetime Achievement.

This National Book award winning story tenderly, poignantly, wonderfully tells the tale of Lonnie Collins Motion. At seven, life dramatically changed for Lonnie and his little sister when their parents died in a fire. Now, at the age of 12, Lonnie still struggles with the afterm
Mar 05, 2016 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book of poems quite intriguing. I wasn't sure if the character in the book was fictional or the author, because they have different names. There are lots of secrets and cliff hangers in the various poems that just want to make you find out what they are about.
David Zenil-Lopez
It was good because how the storyline started off and how it ended and the way Lonnie is explaining the story. It was interesting and it was shocking finding out how his parents died.
This is a cool little book, told in first-person poems, about Lonnie C. Motion (Locomotion). Lonnie's life has been marked by tragedy: his parents both died in a fire, and he and his younger sister have been split up by the foster care system (although they able to see each other for short visits). Now, at eleven, he stuggles to find his voice and his place in the world with the help of his teacher, Mrs. Marcus.

The free verse novel has been kind of a popular form lately, and many authors have ta
Jacqueline Woodson's Locomotion wasn't a National Book Award finalist for nothin'. As always, Ms. Woodson's characterization and language choices are spot on. Any child who's ever suffered a loss or family upheaval will identify with Lonnie's haunting loneliness and drive to rediscover himself and reclaim the family he has left. In brief poems, taking up a perfect 100 pages, Woodson masterfully reveals the motivations and relationships of all those in Lonnie's life, the wheels turning in his Loc ...more
Book Riot Community
Locomotion follows eleven-year-old Lonnie on his journey to process his complex emotions into poetry. Through his writing and his words, we learn about his parent’s death, being placed in separate foster care homes from his sister, and navigating tricky school situations and friendships. Woodson’s verse is perfectly done, and it made me want to root for Lonnie, celebrate with him, and hope for his future. I would recommend this book for all middle grade audiences and beyond. — Karina Glaser

May 17, 2015 Mo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book so much! I can't stop thinking about my students who I need to give this book to tomorrow morning!
(NS) Heatherk
This novel is written in verse from the perspective of Lonnie, an African American teen trying to find his way in life. Lonnie and his sister, Lili lost their parents in a house fire at the young ages of 7 and 4. Placed in separate foster homes, Lonnie keeps his sister close to his heart by writing in his poetry journal. His gifted teacher, Ms. Marcus has created an outlet for Lonnie to reflect on his past struggles and become a bold young man. Character development, hope and coming of age are c ...more
Jessica Braswell
I enjoyed this book. I read it in one sitting. This would be a great book to teach poetry.
Aug 04, 2015 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was sad. But happy in the end.
Makenzie Ramirez
Feb 12, 2013 Makenzie Ramirez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it would be a good book for people who are having trouble with there family. I mean like how locomotion has a hard time of how his parents died and now he only has his little sister. When he grows up ....I think he would be a good writer ...because of how he always writes about his feelings and how he is really creative, but also happy because his little sister always shows him the write way to God, and how he reads the bible. Then when he grows up...he will be happy again and find his w ...more
May 19, 2016 BAYARA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love this book
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I used to say I’d be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing.

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories a
More about Jacqueline Woodson...

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Locomotion (2 books)
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