Tag Archives: Locomotion

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Want to Learn Things

TTTTop Ten Tuesday is a Weekly Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is about books that inspire us to learn new things, or at least make us wish we could! Here are some of the books that made me want to take up new hobbies.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – parkour

Reading about Inej’s amazing spider-like abilities made me wish I was athletic and brave enough to learn some parkour. It looks like so much fun. Well, until you watch all those reels of fail videos. Ouch!

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley – glass blowing

Okay, this one is only slightly cheating because I’ve always wanted to learn glass-blowing anyway. Fun fact: a girl I grew up with actually has an arts degree in this. Anyway, reading about Lucy and how she feels about and connects with her art really made me wish we had local classes that I could take.

Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey/How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras – painting

Both the protagonists in these books are painters, and I loved the imagery and descriptions of how painting made them feel and how they expressed what they were feeling in the things they painted. I dabbled with painting while I was in school, and I’ve always wanted to continue with more classes. This made me really hungry for it.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson – poetry

I love poetry. I love that a talented poet can use only a few words to paint an incredibly vivid picture and communicate powerful emotions to a reader. This book made me want to write poetry, even though my attempts are often cheesy and hopelessly abstract in a bad way.

PIE by Sarah Weeks – baking

(Honorable mention: Good Grief by Lolly Winston, which isn’t YA, but definitely made me wish I was a baker! I would love to have Sophie’s cheesecake recipes. Yum!)

I don’t know if anyone could read this book and NOT want a slice of pie. The best part about this? The author anticipated this and includes recipes in the back of the book! I love cooking, but I’m horrible at baking. This book made me want to give it another try. Like, now.

To Get to You by Joanne Bischof – skateboarding

Despite the fact that I took ballet lessons for years of my life, I’m not the most coordinated person. (I think the idea that dancers are graceful is a bad stereotype anyway. We spend most of our time in wide open spaces where there’s nothing to trip over/bash into, so put us in a room with breakables and floor height changes and see what happens.) I stood on a skateboard one time. I liked it. That’s about as far as that went. I would love to learn to actually do even some of the most basic skateboarding moves. While the skating isn’t a HUGE theme in the story, the ease with which Riley moves and how soothing it is to him definitely made me envious.

The Feuds by Avery Hastings – ballet dancing

I took ballet classes for lots of years, and even though it’s been a long time, I do still miss it. I loved reading about a dancer. It’s always fun for me to read books about ballerinas because I actually know what the names of the moves are and have done them. It’s like reading a book with some Spanish dialogue and being able to trot out your high school Spanish and follow along without needing the interpretation.

The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos and I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert – music

Books about punk rock kids hold a special place in my heart because for the last let’s not talk about how many years, I’ve been writing about a trio of punk kids myself. Music is another hobby I’ve dabbled in– once upon a time someone handed me a guitar and a chord dictionary, and I went from there– but I’ve never really taken lessons or learned anything complex. Both these books made me want to take up music again.

What about you?

Have you read any books lately that tempted you to pursue new hobbies? If you’ve read any of the books on my list, did you like them?

A Brilliant Novel In Poetry: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

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