Sandra's Reviews > Locomotion

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
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really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-children-s-lit, award-winners, poetry

This National Book Award Finalist is another Woodson keeper; Woodson seems determined to write engaging fiction involving African American kids (at least what I've read so far) that enlightens the readers about poetry. Locomotion is written as a series of poems by Lonnie, an 11-year-old who has survived several traumatic events in his short life, and, with the help of a gifted teacher who really believes in him, writes them out in various poetry forms (epistolary, occasional, haiku, free verse -- his favorite -- and others). It's got a plot that keeps you going -- she's very good at timing, so that things are revealed gradually but not in an annoying or obvious way -- and the poetic form, I imagine, serves a secondary purpose: It's a full-length book for kids to get credit for reading, but there are fewer words. Slow readers can enjoy the poetry and finish the book more quickly than a denser novel. A teacher in my church congregation likes to find books like these for kids who aren't great readers and are self-conscious about it. She particularly mentioned Wonderstruck, a fat graphic novel, as one that slow readers could carry around and feel good about.

And of course it's another example of Woodson slipping vegetables into the meal, in such a way that kids don't even realize that they are learning about poetry while they read.
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Reading Progress

January 9, 2018 – Started Reading
January 10, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 11, 2018 – Shelved
January 11, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction-children-s-lit
January 11, 2018 – Shelved as: award-winners
January 11, 2018 – Shelved as: poetry

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