27 Oct / Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Heads up for DC-area locals … mark your calendars: you can meet Jacqueline Woodson on November 9, 2010 at Fairfax County Government Center, Fairfax, Virginia! Click here for details! And now through October 31, 2010, a play version of Locomotion is up at the Kennedy Center (adapted by Woodson herself) … the run is just about over, so make your plans now!
Lonnie Collins Motion is Locomotion, named after the song his mother loved so much she had to bless him with it! He’s been forced to grow up far too early … four years ago at just 7 years old, he lost his parents in a tragic fire. After being shuffled through well-meaning church members and group homes, Lonnie and his younger sister Lili, 4 then, now 8, are forced to live separate lives, she with a new mother who puts her in pretty dresses, and he with loving but no-nonsense Miss Edna who’s already raised two older sons of her own.
Told in vibrant interlinked poems that pour out of Lonnie’s energetic young soul, Woodson creates a portrait of ‘an artist as a very young man’ in this 2003 National Book Award finalist for Young People’s Literature. From unpredictable Eric with his voice like an angel, the New Boy with a name everyone refuses to use, beautiful LaTenya with her missing extra fingers, Miss Edna’s son Rodney who comes home from ‘upstate’ to call Lonnie ‘Little Brother,’ and tenacious Ms. Marcus who wins Teacher of the Year with her patient nurturing, Woodson balances Lonnie’s struggles over his haunted past and his uncertain future, with his joys of new relationships and poetic accomplishments. Lonnie longs for the day when he and Lili might be reunited … but for now, summer camp is just three weeks away when they can be together always, even for a short while …
Locomotion is a memorable and accessible way to introduce young readers to various poetic forms, from haiku to epistle to free verse. As Lonnie discovers the power of writing, so, too, can readers join in on his unforgettable, brave journey of a sometimes uncertain, brand new life.
Reader: Middle Grade