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Peace, Locomotion

by Jacqueline  Woodson

Published by Putnam, 2009
134 pages
ISBN: 978-0-399-24655-5

Ages 10 - 13

Podcast featuring this book

In Locomotion (Putnam, 2003), Jacqueline Woodson introduced Lonnie C. Motion, aka Locomotion, a talented African American boy whose poetry helped him express his hurt and his grief since 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 new teacher doesn’t appreciate his poetry, while 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, the 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 heart: “Peace is your sister running to you at Prospect / Park, / Throwing her arms around you and saying / I’ve missed you a million, Lonnie. / Peace is the good stuff / That happens to all of us / Sometimes.” CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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