Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Locomotion” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Locomotion #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,223 ratings  ·  1,084 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,223 ratings  ·  1,084 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Locomotion
Melanie  Brinkman
Words from within contain great wonders.

Life changed forever when Lonnie Collins Motion (a.k.a Locomotion) was seven, and it's about to change again. His teacher shows him a way to put his feelings on paper, and it's a game changer. He finally has a way to talk about the fire, and all the things he couldn't.

Could this be what he needed all along?

A story of loss, lines, and life. A tale of pain and promises, past and present.

Trigger warnings for death of a parent, grief, theft, and cancer.

Numb ye
Dec 08, 2012 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 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.
Becca Nunemaker
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was beautiful. One of my new favs.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-fiction
4.5 stars

I flew through this. It's a really easy read because it was told in verses. The story tho, feel like an introduction of a bigger picture. We're introduced to Lonnie, a 11 years old boy who has a little sister called Lili and how a boy who loves poetry deals with everything from school to life itself.

Brady Roberts
I think a theme is don't give up. I think this because his parents died but he still has his sister and his friends. His foster mom is also very helpful. By the end of the book, he realizes he is not alone.
Nov 06, 2013 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
Mar 08, 2016 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
Jun 10, 2010 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
Bridget Subialka
Apr 10, 2017 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!
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a GoodRead!, especially if you like poetry.
Noah Rachal
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was honestly, in my opinion, the most emotional book I have read so far. The plot has so many twists and turns so I won't do too much spoil elaboration. The main plot is about a brother, Lonnie who was 7 at the time, and a sister, Lilli who was 4 at the time, who lost their parents in a house fire. The children were put into foster care, and then eventually adopted to 2 different families. The story starts 4 years after the fire when Lonnie is 11 and Lilli is 8. Lonnie expresses all his emo ...more
Linda Lipko
Oct 12, 2011 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
Jan 29, 2017 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
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novel in verse about a 6th grader who uses his poetry notebook to reflect and express his innermost thoughts deserves a place in every classroom library.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I read this book, two tears stood in my eyes. I paused much, and just meditated on the poems I had just read. This is a novel in verse. I believe it was her first dive into this form, and she worked it. The challenge of writing novels-in-verse is to write these poems in the voice of the main character, and even develop the character in each poem. Woodson does a masterful job doing this. What amazed me about this work is its deep pathos. The reader feels what the main character, Lonnie C. Moti ...more
Emily Sammartino
Sep 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-lit
This book is about a boy named, Lonnie Collins Motion, him and his little sister, Lili, lost their parents in a house fire. If losing their parents wasn’t hard enough, they got separated and lived in different homes. Lonnie lived with Miss. Edna who loved him very much. He got to see his sister occasionally, but her foster mom didn’t care for him much. Every time he would visit Lili, she tells him when he finds God, they will be together again. Lonnie’s teacher, Ms. Marcus, makes them write poet ...more
Gabrielle Palmisano
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, children, fiction
This book was NOTHING that I thought it was going to be. The main character Lonnie talks about his life through poems. Each poem is about somebody or some event he remembers. Lonnie talks about his Mama, Daddy, younger sister Lili, Miss Edna, Ms. Marcus and his friends Eric & Lamont. Lonnie touches on when he lived in a group home and was bullied and beaten and even passed around from home to home until Miss Edna found him. Lonnie was separated from his younger sister when everything first happe ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
pg.13 "Ms. Marcus don't understand some things even though she's my favorite teacher in the world. Things like my brown, brown arm. And the white lady and man with all that good food to throw away. How if you turn in your TV, that's what you see-people with lots and lots of stuff not having to sit on scratchy couches in Miss Edna's house. And the true fact is alotta those people are white. Maybe it's that if you're white you can't see all the whiteness around you."
Macy Davis
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jacqueline Woodson's verse novel is incredibly poignant. Lonnie Collins Motion is just a 5th grade boy who is trying to navigate life without his parents and separated from his sister by the system, and he's doing it using poetry thanks to his teacher Ms. Marcus. From teaching poetic forms (like haiku and sonnet), to breaking down tough topics, this novel hits every note that I wanted it to.
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
My friend Georgia put this into my hands last year after she completed her term abroad in the US. Lonnie took my heart into the palm of his hand and carried me through every single poem. Woodson has created such a powerful voice through Lonnie and it's such an achievement to have written a story out of poems. Definitely going to read more of her work!
May 03, 2019 added it
I think this is a good book and I recommend it to people who like a lot of change throughout the book.

This book was done really well there was a lot of character development and the main character, Lonnie was seven his life changed a lot and it also changed when he got older and was eleven. This book was good because you can see the characters change throughout the book and its plot is really well. I like his foster mom a lot because she is really brought out as a character in the book if you kn
Monica Cox
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this out loud to my almost 10 year old and we both loved it. He recently studied poetry in school and this was a wonderful augmentation of that study by showing how a story can be told through verse. We both loved that it was from the perspective of a peer and provided lots of conversation jumping off points in terms of how Locomotion's life was similar to and different from his. He even enjoyed reading a few of the poems out loud and latched on to the exquisite rhythm of Jacqueline Woods ...more
Penny Ramirez
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
How can such a short book be so utterly heartbreaking?
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
Read in one sitting. Loved it and one of the poems I want to print out and frame. This brought me back to when I was a kid experimenting with poetry💜
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Woodson's poetry is perfect ad carries the book along.
Angel Pope
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this with my son. A beautiful and uniquely written book.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short & heartfelt YA book written in verse. Beautifully explores loss and longing. Wish that part 2 was included in this edition because it ended quickly. ...more
Hollison Sudduth
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Locomotion was a great book! It gave you insight on a child who lost their parents and how they dealt with the loss. It also showed how even though a child went through something hard, they can always come out on top of things.
I would definitely read this book to my students! It would be a great book to introduce poetry or even to introduce some diversity. To go a step further, instead of just making it a lesson for academics, I could make it into a life lesson on how a child lost their parents
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Not really my style of book, but a good message.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Poetry 1 3 Nov 21, 2016 04:04PM  
APSU Children's L...: Locomotion 10 8 Apr 19, 2013 11:25AM  
Ashland 566 Autum...: Verse book 2 5 Oct 06, 2012 07:48AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rich (Dyamonde Daniel #2)
  • Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World
  • Boy + Bot
  • Tomás and the Library Lady
  • Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books
  • That Book Woman
  • Those Shoes
  • Some Places More Than Others
  • Little Red
  • The Bravest Fish
  • All the Broken Pieces
  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears
  • Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented
  • Extra Yarn
  • Snowflake Bentley
  • The Rough Patch
  • I, Too, Am America
  • Braids!
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Locomotion (2 books)
  • Peace, Locomotion

Related Articles

The Great Migration was the movement of six million African Americans out of the South to urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and West between...
44 likes · 4 comments
“He went way up in the air and
when he came down again,
he got up and ran away. But he stopped at the corner,
Angel says.
And died.”
More quotes…