by Jacqueline Woodson

Eleven-year-old Lonnie C. Motion—Locomotion for short—is writing to save... read more

Eleven-year-old Lonnie C. Motion—Locomotion for short—is writing to save his life. At least that’s what it feels like. Living in foster care since the death of his parents in a fire, Lonnie is directing his grief and his hurt into poetry, with the help of his teacher. Along the way, he’s discovering he has both a talent and a need for writing. Separated from his younger sister, Lili, who has been placed in another home, and uncertain about what Miss Edna, his foster mother, thinks of him, poetry gives Lonnie focus for his undirected energy and form for his mixed-up emotions. It’s also a way to record what he observes and experiences in daily life, as well as the bittersweet memories of life before the fire. Jacqueline Woodson uses both free verse and structured poetic forms as she creates a memorable character study of an African American boy breaking out of the past and into a future of his own making. Nothing is static—not Lonnie himself, not his relationships, and certainly not his life. Honor Book, CCBC Coretta Scott King Author Award Discussion (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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