by Jacqueline Woodson


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When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he's eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because "not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain't babies." But Lonnie hasn't given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She's already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie's poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson's poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142415528
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 01/07/2010
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 34,080
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 2.00(d)
Lexile: NP (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and she received the 2018 Children's Literature Legacy Award. She is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir BROWN GIRL DREAMING, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Her recent adult book, Another Brooklyn, was a National Book Award finalist. Born on February 12th in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books  include THE OTHER SIDE, EACH KINDNESS, Caldecott Honor Book COMING ON HOME SOON; Newbery Honor winners FEATHERS, SHOW WAY, and AFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER, and MIRACLE'S BOYS—which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award and was adapted into a miniseries directed by Spike Lee. Jacqueline is also the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature, the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and was the 2013 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents


Title Page

Copyright Page
































































Discussion Questions

An Exciting Preview of: Brown Girl Dreaming

An Exciting Preview of: Peace, Locomotion


Some days, like today and yesterday and probably tomorrow—all my missing gets jumbled up inside of me.

You know honeysuckle talc powder?

After Tupac and D Foster

Behind You

Beneath a Meth Moon

Between Madison and Palmetto

Brown Girl Dreaming

The Dear One


From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

The House You Pass on the Way


I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This

If You Come Softly

Last Summer with Maizon


Maizon at Blue Hill

Miracle’s Boys

Peace, Locomotion


Copyright © Jacqueline Woodson, 2003


Excerpted from "Locomotion"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Jacqueline Woodson.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Locomotion 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Jessi18 More than 1 year ago
"When Lonnie was seven his life changed forever. Now he is 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 Lilli and his foster mom Miss. Edna" in this poetic book by Jacqueline Woodson called Locomotion. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age who wants to go to sleep. Ithought that this book was boring because the tone was and the book was to. I would give this book a 1 out of 5 stars because of descriptive language.
YoungPaul More than 1 year ago
I am reviewing a book titled Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. This story takes place in Ms. Edna's house mostly. This story is a realistic fiction. It is about a boy named Lonnie Collins Motion (a.k.a, Locomotion). Years ago, his parents died, causing him to have to go to the foster home. Ms. Edna one day came and got him. Now, Ms. Marcus (his teacher) will teach him a way to get his emotions down on paper. I greatly disliked this book. I had no idea what was happening. The author was constantly changing topics. I would recommend this book to readers ages 7-10. This book wasn't hard, just confusing. I would give this book a 4/10.
CChristophersen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a heart renching story told in poems by an 11 year old boy, Lonnie. We discover that his family has been torn appart by his parents death, his sister is adopted by a family and he is left to live in foster care. He talks of his everyday struggles and feelings. His teacher helps him by incurraging him to write his toughts on paper. A very full book.
ElenaEstrada on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is written in verse, and this format lends itself to trauma literature. The poems tell a tragic story of a young boy named Lonnie who is in foster care because he lost both of his loving parents. He is trying to deal with his grief, and the loss of being separated from his sister. In addition, the main character is an African-American boy who is also dealing with what it means to be black in America. Consequently, race relations are a theme in the plot. I feel poetry is a condensed format that can at times express much more emotion than prose. Since the literature contains a realistic portrayal of traumatic events, I would be cautious to recommend the book to any child. Reading a poem a day would be a great way to introduce the book to the class, in this way students can be mentally prepared for the sometimes depressing and sad tone in the book. I think this book could offer a lot of psychological support for many YA students who have gone through tragedy at a young age. These poems could validate strong emotions, and give students hope in the idea that life always gives us opportunities for new beginnings after loss.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson is the moving story of Lonnie Collins Motion, an 11 year old boy who, orphaned and separated from his sister, is trying to come to terms with his life at it is now. We learn Lonnie¿s story through a series of poems that he¿s written. Lonnie records his good days, his bad days, and his feelings of isolation created by the loss of his family.He has been separated from his younger sister, Lili and misses both her and his sense of family identityLili¿s new mama didn¿t want no boysJust a sweet little girl. Nobody told me thatI just know itNot a lot of people want boysThat ain¿t babies ¿He dreams of the day that he and Lili can be together as a family again, but realizes that this is an impossible dream and that he must lean to accept seeing Lili on a supervised visit, once a month.Lonnie¿s poems reveal other issues that he is facing such as his relationship with his teacher, his feelings upon learning that his friend is sick with sickle cell leukemia, and his search for God.A truly remarkable book, this author has captured the voice of one young boy with a handful of simple, heart-felt poems that resound with insight and truth.
theCajunLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Somehow Jacqueline Woodson was able to morph into a young African American boy coping with the loss of his parents in a tragic accident and separation from his little sister and write a book of poems from his perspective. The poems blend into a poignant, emotional story of struggling for hope and a new sense of happiness.
Kathdavis54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young boy is encouraged by his teacher to write poetry. By doing so, he begins to work through the pain of losing his parents in a fire. An interesting story told only in different poetry forms.
michelleraphael on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written book with a deep core. A young boy is writing poetry to help him make since of his life. Through each poem, we see the main character grow a bit more, The poems are beautiful and insightful.
Edwardlynn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lonnie C. Motion has had some tough times in his life. But this fall, Lonnie¿s fifth grade class is learning to write poetry and suddenly, Lonnie is finding the words to tell the world about his family, the fire that took his parents away, his little sister, his world
smorales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Locomotion gives a great story of a child who has lost his parents in a fire and he finds poetry in school and uses it as an outlet. I would definitely recommend this book to a fourth or fifth grade student to peak their interests in poetry.
ahernandez91 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lonnie lost his parents in a fire and became an orphan at a very young age. Through his poems, we learn different things about his life. Lonnie's nickname is "Locomotion" and it was given to him by him mom. He is a very caring,and sweet boy who lived in orphanages and now lives with Mrs. Edna. At first he didn't really like it, but he grew to love her though he still really misses his parents and his sister Lilly. My favorite poem in the book is "Pigeons", I thought it was just the funniest. Ms. Marcus is his teacher who pushes him to write poetry and who really inspires him. This book can be used in the classroom when teaching a poetry unit because Lonnie using several different styles of poetry when writing his own.
mrcmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Locomotion is a perfect novel in verse, exploring multiple styles of poetry as its young protagonist progresses processes his feelings of losing his parents and separating from his sister in foster care over the course of a school year in English class. Every chapter Woodson writes is a beautiful poem that stands on its own, but together they develop a complex, deeply sensitive young boy who is trying to deal with loss. I love this book.
Alexandra1600 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An Incredibly powerful novel about a brother and sister who lose their parents in a home fire and how their lives change with new caretakers and a teacher that encourages Lonnie to express his feelings through poetry.
klsulliv on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How many people can say they lost everything? Well, Lonnie can because his parents died in a fire, and he and his sister were separated because she was adopted and he was not. Lonnie is a sad boy who only finds peace in his writing; poetry specifically. But, finding this type of release was not easy for Lonnie to find, he found it through his teacher. Help your students learn about how writing can be more than just an assignment; it can actually serve as a type of therapy for some people. Poetry has such emotion and vivid images so why would poetry not be an easy "escape" for a grieving person to turn to? Your students will learn a great deal from reading this book: learning how important family is, different types of poems, and how expressing emotions could be both beneficial and easy to get out by not talking to a single person. "Locomotion" was a great novel that teaches children how they will benefit from learning and figuring out the various things poetry has to offer.
derbygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Poetry, fiction, young adult) Locomotion is one of the easiest poetry books I have read. I mean easy in the sense of how it flowed through the mind as one read. The story has been presented in a poetic form, though it is narrative and it makes for a refreshing read. The book follows 11 yr.old Lonnie who has had to make many adjustments in his life since his parents died in a fire. He learns how to accept and express his grief through visits to his sister Lonnie, love shared with Miss Edna and by writing poetry for his teacher, Ms. Marcus. The story follows his journey through his poems. An obvious class project would be to encourage students to write their own poems.
Elizabeth1977 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lonnie, a twelve-year old boy, is a foster child whose parents died in a fire four years ago. He reveals his thoughts and emotions about his parents, his sister whom he is separated from, his foster family, his favorite teacher, and his friends through various types of poetry.
ebruno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book of poems written by Lonnie, known as Locomotion, serves as a coping mechanism. After his parents passed, he was torn away from his sister and sent to a foster home. Trying to stay in touch with his sister and just participating in everyday life, such as school and friendships, seem to be too much. Lonnie writes his feelings down in different poetic forms helping him cope.
paulaanweiler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poetry helps lonnie to deal with the death of his parents, and not being able to see his sister, and being in a new home.
jenvid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Through poetry, Locomotion writes down his emotions on dealing with his parent's death, and separation from his sister. Different types of poetry are seen in this novel. This is a great book to read during a poetry unit for a class 3rd grade and up. Students can discuss their feelings on Locomotion's poetry, and students can also have a journal. In this journal, they can write down any type of poetry and share with one another if they want to.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 aftermath.Separated from his sister, Lonnie and Lili are placed in different foster homes.Through a masterful, insightful teacher, Lonnie learns the power of poetry and the written word. As he puts feelings into words, he is able to unlock the pain and begin a life of hope.Destined to be one of my top reads of 2011, I highly recommend this one!Five Stars
ambourg7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this novel. Through the use of free verse poems and other popular poetry forms. This story tells the hard life a young boy has had to live. Through the use of poetry he learns to talk about his life and the problems he is faced with.
kris0812 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This heart-wrenching novel is written as a series of poems. Very powerful. Could be used as a mentor text to begin a poetry unit. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech uses the same form and would be a great companion text.
dylemon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel-in-verse told the story of a boy living in the foster-care system after an apartment fire killed his parents. Lonnie uses poetry as a form of therapy to vent his confusion, anger, denial, and frustration with his new circumstances, as well as his desire to reunite with his younger sister, who is living in a separate foster home. I found this book to be a quick read and a real tear-jerker at times, particularly in the scenes where Lonnie meets with his little sister and tries to be brave and responsible for her sake.
ktinney2315937 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When their parents died in a fire, both Lonnie and his littler sister Lilli were sent to live with people from their church. These people tried to keep the two together until there was no one left to take care of them both. When this happened, Lilli was sent to live with one family and Lonnie with another. Lonnie didn't mind Mrs. Edna, the lady he lived with. the reason is because she treated him like he was her own. He was still able to see Lillie, but only on certain days. In school Lonnie's favorite thing to do was write in his journal. He loved poetry. Every day his teacher, Mrs. Marcus, would give them a subject for them to write about. For the most part Lonnie liked her choices, the only topic he didn't like was "family" and the reason was because his parents had both died and he was away from his sister.
kzrobin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was by far the best book of poetry I have read yet. The author made the character seem so real. It was very sad to read at times but people need to understand that not everyone goes through life easily. There are plenty children that grow up with no parents and it'd important to point these things out to others; especially children that aren¿t exposed to this type of living style. I think it would be a great eye opener for children and even adults. Seeing things from someone else¿s point of view is very important.