Peace, Locomotion

by Jacqueline Woodson

In Locomotion (Putnam, 2003), Jacqueline Woodson introduced Lonnie C. Motion,... read more

In Locomotion (Putnam, 2003), Jacqueline Woodson introduced Lonnie C. Motion, a.k.a. Locomotion, a talented African American boy whose poetry helped him express his hurt and grief after the death of his parents in a fire. Now Locomotion wants to document his life for his younger sister, Lili, who is living in a different foster home. In letters to Lili, Locomotion reveals that his wonderful foster mother, Miss Edna, and her son, Rodney, are steadfast in every way. But when Miss Edna’s oldest son, Jenkins, returns from the war without a leg, his sense of grief and loss echoes Locomotion’s own pain every time he thinks about his parents. For Locomotion, the challenge is to hold on to the memories of what he once had but let go of the guilt at moving on. One of the hardest things to accept is that he would never have met Miss Edna or Rodney or Jenkins or his best friend, Clyde, were it not for his parents’ deaths. Accepting that truth, and embracing a new idea of family, doesn’t come easily, but it comes. Deeply observant, Locomotion looks at Jenkins and the war and everything around him and thinks about peace—in the world, and in his own life, and in his heart. (Ages 10–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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