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Locomotion (Locomotion #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,015 ratings  ·  558 reviews
When Lonnie Collins Motion "Locomotion" was seven years old, his life changed forever. Now he's 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, w ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 29th 2004 by Speak (first published January 1st 2003)
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Novels in Verse
48th out of 208 books — 537 voters
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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
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
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 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
*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
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
Makenzie Ramirez
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
Taylor Payne

I never thought that I would have liked a book of poetry; but, I loved this book. Like, LOVED it. It was a quick read and it was written from the perspective of an African-American, 11-year-old boy, Lonnie Collins Motion (Lo-co-motion). At seven-years-old, his parents died in a fire, leaving behind Lonnie and his younger sister. Woodson uses this book as Lonnie's poetry book that he writes in for Ms. Marcus's class. Through his poetry, we get an insight into his life
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Have had it in the library and have recommended it to students for years, but had never read it. Then I came across the audio version at the public library and decided to try it. It's very interesting to listen to a book written as a set of poems. The narration was very well done, and I liked the way the story flowed; nothing seemed artificial about the way it was written.

Although much of the main story is tragic, the mood is somewhat hopeful. One thing I really enjoyed
Shawnee Smith
Jacqueline Woodson creates a complete story through poetry regarding the aftermath of the death of Lonnie's parents. Lonnie is only seven years old when he is separated from his sister following the horrible event. Lonnie is now eleven and attempts to cope with the loss of his parents through poetry. Lonnie's teacher, Ms. Marcus, assigns her class to try variety of poetry types so Lonnie expresses his emotions through different mediums throughout the story. Sometimes Lonnie speaks of seemingly t ...more
Locomotion is the story about an eleven year old boy named Lonnie (or Locomotion) whose parents died four years ago in a fire. He had to live in a Group Home because no relatives wanted to take him in, until he is finally given a home with Miss Edna, his foster new mom. His younger sister, who was four years old at the time of the fire, was adopted by another woman who didn't want a boy. Lonnie has a lot of pain and unresolved feelings about his past and h
I haven't read poetry in quite some time and just really enjoyed this compilation of them. Jacqueline Woodson is amazingly graphic and hits close to home. Poetry has seemed so preachy and pretentious to me lately and yet this book had some real winners. Loved the Happiness Poem, New Boy Poem II and How I Got my Name. Other are great too. These poems read like stories- I like that. I thought I was done with poems- this would be a good addition to the pile of poetry books on my shelf.
Broghan Schlicher
This book is called Locomotion, and is written by Jacqueline Woodson. The plot of the story follows an 11 year old boy named Lonnie Motion. Lonnie's parents passed away when he was still very young, and Lonnie has since gone through many changes in his life. Some of the changes that he has gone through include living with his new foster mother, attending a new school, and coping with
being separated from his little sister Lili, who lives with her new mother. Meanwhile, Lonnie lives with a new fos
n entirely in verse from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old boy, Locomotion gives the reader insight into a boy struggling with losing his parents to a fire and being separated from his sister. He lives in a different foster home than Lili, his sister. One of Lonnie’s teachers, Ms. Marcus, has his class write poetry, and Lonnie embarks on a journey of observation and self-discovery with poetry. The book ends with a cliffhanger, almost, as Lonnie sees his sister moved to another house and his own fut ...more
RLL52014_Rachel Weiss Roth
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson is a unique novel about a young orphan named Lonnie Collins Motion (Locomotion) who is still adjusting to life without his parents and away from his sister four years after his parents tragic death. 11 year old Lonnie's teacher, Ms. Marcus, is teaching the class about poetry which begins Lonnie's poetry book.
What makes this book so unique is the way in which the entire book is composed in poems. The poems are supposed to be written by Locomotion. Woodson does a
Locomotion was different from most of the stories I have read before.Locomotion is one of my favorite poetry books.It was filled with all differnt types/forms of poetry from free verse to traditional.Locomotion was a story about a boy trying to overcome his worries about his mom and dad dying in a house fire.With the help of his sister,teacher,and God he his able to contol his thoughts.
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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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