Thursday, April 13, 2017

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson published in 2003 is a story told in poetry format about a boy who lost his parents. The more books I read that are told in this format, the more I feel that this will be the way I ultimately end up telling my story.

I've often been told I should write a book about my life, but I feel there are too many sad things, and no one could handle trudging through it, but when hard things are told in small bits using poetry, they somehow seem easier to digest.

Lonnie C. Motion is the main character in this book. He is living in foster care away from his little sister because their parents have died. His teacher has them write poetry each day facilitating his storytelling.

Jacqueline Woodson is a talented writer. The poetry she wrote to tell Lonnie's story is touching and tender. There is sweetness and sadness throughout this story. In one poem, Lonnie feels an attachment to his adult foster brother and the imagery used will probably always stay with me. His foster brother goes to the park with him and they talk about trees. His foster brother, as he walks with his arm around  Lonnie, says, "You know what I love about trees. It's like . . . I's like their leaves are hands reaching out to you. Saying Come over here, Brother. Let me just . . . Let me just . . ." Rodney looks down at me and grins. "Let me just give you some shade for a while."

As a teacher I like how Lonnie begins to understand himself by telling his story. The act of writing heals and the ability to tell stories gives us freedom, compassion, and understanding.

Peace, Locomotion is book two of this duo and is written as letters to Lonnie's sister from himself. In this story, Lonnie's foster brother has been wounded in the war and his foster mother is very stressed. 

The writing is beautiful and will make you cry as you witness human fear, pain, love, and peace. 

I enjoyed every minute of reading this book, but it felt unfinished. I wanted it to go on longer and tell me more of the story. Both books are worth reading, but I want a book three told in poetry form. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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