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Locomotion (Locomotion #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  4,542 Ratings  ·  781 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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Dec 08, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it
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
Catherine Blass
May 14, 2017 Catherine Blass rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I found this little treasure tucked away in the Ws at a used bookstore. I haven't yet read Brown Girl Dreaming, but I've wanted to read some of Jacqueline Woodson's work. These poems are simple and searingly beautiful. They made me ache in good and hard ways. Sometimes the best books choose us. Highly recommend.
Mar 08, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
"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
Nov 06, 2013 Megan rated it it was amazing
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
Recommends it for: students learning poetry
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
Jan 29, 2017 Meg rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I always forget how much I enjoy Jacqueline Woodson's book until I'm 15 pages into them. Locomotion was the same. Written in verse, Locomotion is an 11-year-old's story of the loss of his parents, his caring foster mother, and his love for his sister.

What makes this memorable is the authenticity of Locomotion's voice in the poems. They really feel like an 11 year old's poems with the real insights that can be found in a person's poetry. You can sense his hesitation that his writing will not see
Bridget Subialka
Apr 10, 2017 Bridget Subialka rated it it was amazing
This story is sure to both break and warm your heart. This young boy named Lonnie is stuck with his thoughts with nowhere to put them except paper. His love for his family is incredible. I would definitely recommend this book!
Feb 17, 2013 CH13_Kieran rated it liked it
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
Evelyn Chen
Jan 17, 2010 Evelyn Chen rated it really liked it
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
Feb 12, 2017 Theresa rated it it was amazing
This day is already putting all kinds of words
in your head
and breaking them up into lines
and making the lines into pictures in your mind
And in the pictures the people are
laughing and frowning and
eating and reading and
playing ball and skipping along and

spinning themselves into poetry.

--Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
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
Mar 12, 2010 Lauma rated it really liked it
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
Mar 07, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2010 Brooke rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 28, 2010 Ch_jank-caporale rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 15, 2016 Alexandra rated it really liked it
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
Oct 06, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
A novel in verse (a genre I have decided I quite least the YA and children's novels in verse that I have read), this tells the story of Lonnie Collins Motion. His mom loved the song that says, "Come on, baby, do the Locomotion" so she had to name him LO(nnie) CO(llins) MOTION...
lo co motion. But Lonnie's mother and father died in a fire and now he and his sister are split up in two different foster homes. His foster mom, Edna, is a good woman. Lonnie is a good kid but he has a lot of j
Mar 13, 2010 Dena rated it really liked it
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
Mar 08, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
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
Teri Weaver
Jan 24, 2010 Teri Weaver rated it it was amazing
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
George Merryman
Nov 24, 2016 George Merryman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
This verse novel, by Jacqueline Woodsen, is a boy name Locomotion's first person account of trying to cope with the death of his parents and the ensuing separation from his little sister. Every type of conflict is addressed in this book as Locomotion struggles with his loss, his peers, his surroundings and himself. I will build a unit on poetry around this book and bring in the works of other poets referenced, such as Langston Hughes. https://www.poets.or ...more
Sep 24, 2010 704isabel rated it liked it
Shelves: 7th-grade-books
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
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
Isaac Hernandez
Mar 04, 2016 Isaac Hernandez rated it it was amazing
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
Deepika Ramesh
Feb 09, 2017 Deepika Ramesh rated it it was amazing
All that Locomotion has is words. Perhaps that is all one needs to cope with grief, loss, and loneliness when there is no other comfort. This didn't make me cry. But moving. Way too moving.

My 11-year-old nephew recommended this and realised I read it just when it is #BlackHistoryMonth.
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
(NS) Heatherk
Sep 27, 2009 (NS) Heatherk rated it liked it
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
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

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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Locomotion (2 books)
  • Peace, Locomotion

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