Brooke's Reviews > Locomotion

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
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's review
May 01, 2010

it was amazing
Read in February, 2010

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 the spare text, Lonnie's foster mother and the other minor characters are three-dimensional, making the boy's world a convincingly real one. His reflections touch on poverty and on being African American when whites seem to have the material advantages, and return repeatedly to the pain of living apart from his younger sister. Readers, though, will recognize Lonnie as a survivor. The author places the characters in nearly unbearable circumstances, then lets incredible human resiliency shine through.

Theme: Separation from parents, foster families, poverty, race

Curricular Use: Shared Reading, Independent Reading, Guided Reading, Read Aloud

Level: ages 9-12
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