A Brilliant Novel In Poetry: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Locomotion by Jacqueline WoodsonLocomotion
Jacqueline Woodson
Speak, Penguin Group

Lonnie Collins Motion learns to pour out memories and feelings in a poetry journal. He writes about the night his parents died. About his little sister, Lili. About his foster mom. About the teacher he admires who doesn’t understand what his life is really like. His story unfolds, poem by poem, packed with emotion and insight.

One of the most powerful things about a novel-in-poetry is the power of each line. The narrative has been distilled down to just a few words, yet it’s enough to paint a complete picture of what Lonnie sees and experiences. There are simply not enough stories like this one, both in its approach to storytelling and in the story itself. Lonnie is easy to love – his desire to protect and stay in touch with his younger sister is moving, and it’s easy to sense his longing for young men he can look up to. This would make a great addition to classroom study or a great independent read for late elementary-aged children. I highly recommend it.

Language Content
No profanity.

Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Lonnie’s little sister asks him if he has “found God yet?” He responds, saying he wasn’t looking for Him. But for her sake, so her foster family will like him more and allow him more time with her, he begins going to some church events and trying to read the Bible.

Lonnie’s parents were killed in a fire long before his story begins. He remembers their deaths, but no gory details are related.

Drug Content

About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.