by Jacqueline Woodson
AR Level 4.7, 2 points
Locomotion is another book written in various forms of poetry, but it tells the story of Lonnie, an eleven year old boy who lost his parents in a fire and was separated from his little sister. He lives with Ms. Edna and has a teacher who encourages him to write poetry, insisting he has a gift. Lonnie writes his way through memories of his family, sadness about being separated from his sister, and his discovery of God.
What I liked about this book was that it motivated me to encourage poetry with my own students. Lonnie lived through the heartbreak of losing his family and found solace in poetry. He wrote about what he saw and experienced, or what he was feeling. There’s no reason my students couldn’t do the same.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it was sad. It’s sad to think of a boy and girl living without their parents, who were clearly good parents, especially now that I have children of my own. I don’t want my kids to have to go through life without me, especially if they were to be separated from each other.
Woodson has written quite a few books about the perspective of young, African-American children, and I think being able to read books from a different perspective will help my own students make connections. Anything that helps us to see diversity from someone else’s point of view will generate tolerance and acceptance, which is what we need right now.
Book 39 of 40 (year 2)