Start reading Locomotion on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Locomotion [Kindle Edition]

Jacqueline Woodson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $0.40 (5%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.59  
Hardcover $12.34  
Paperback $7.99  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $11.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged $19.99  
Unknown Binding --  
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

Finalist for the National Book Award

When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he's eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because "not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain't babies." But Lonnie hasn't given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She's already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie's poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson's poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The kinetic energy of the aptly named Locomotion (the nickname of Lonnie Collins Motion) permeates the 60 poems that tell his sad yet hopeful story. Lonnie's first poem sets up a conflict familiar to anyone who has attempted creativity: despite the cheering of his teacher, Ms. Marcus ("Write it down before it leaves your brain," she says), as he begins to write, Lonnie hears the critical voice of his foster mother ("It's Miss Edna's over and over/ Be quiet!"). As Lonnie explores poetry's various forms throughout this brief yet poignant and occasionally humorous volume, he also reveals Miss Edna's kindness toward him in the little things she says and does ("The last time Miss Edna came home and found me/ crying She said Think/ about all the stuff you love, Lonnie"). Gradually Lonnie reveals that at age seven, his parents died in a fire, leaving him and his younger sister, Lili, orphaned. Lili was adopted, yet Lonnie figures out a way to visit her regularly. The gradual unfolding of his life's events intermingle with his discoveries about poetry as a form, from haiku to sonnets ("Ms. Marcus says "sonnet" comes from "sonnetto"/ and that sonnetto means little song or sound/ It reminds me of that guy's name Gepetto/ the one who made Pinocchio from wood he found") to the epistle poems he writes to his father and to God. Woodson, through Lonnie, creates (much as Sharon Creech did with the boy narrator in Love That Dog) a contagious appreciation for poetry while using the genre as a cathartic means for expressing the young poet's own grief. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-In Jacqueline Woodson's novel (Putnam, 2003), fifth grader Lonnie Collins Motion, an African-American boy whose parents were killed in a fire four years ago, is given an assignment by his teacher to write different forms of poetry. Collected here are 60 poems in verse that reveal his innermost thoughts about his family, his friends, and his place in the world. Through Lonnie's poetry notebook, we learn that he is a foster child living in New York City, and that he has been separated from his little sister, Lili. This school assignment has given Lonnie an outlet for dealing with his feelings of grief over the loss of his parents and coming to terms with his present situation. JD Jackson narrates the poems with a genuine and honest voice, allowing listeners to feel the rhythm of the different poetry styles from sonnets to haiku to free verse. Jackson's performance is tender at times and full of energy at others, giving Lonnie's character tremendous depth and bringing to life all of the lesser characters. We are able to see directly into his life and feel his sorrow and pain as well as his hope for the future. This novel about survival and the resiliency of the human spirit should be an essential purchase for all libraries with the print version in their collections and should be paired with it at every opportunity.
Casey Rondini, Westerly Public Library, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Expressions April 17, 2005
LOCOMOTION by Jacqueline Woodson tops the list of originality with thought provoking words from a little boy named Lonnie. Although LOCOMOTION is categorized as poetry, it is not written as one of the traditional styles of poems that rhyme. LOCOMOTION is a collection of poems that reads as a story with uniqueness and wonderful grandeur. Every word echoes a young child's hurt and rediscovery of self.

Lonnie, who lost his parents in a fire, writes in first person in the book. He tells a story through poetic form of suddenly being left alone and separated from his little sister, Lili. Lonnie is encouraged by his teacher to write down all this thoughts as soon as they hit his brain. He writes about living in a foster home, visits with his sister and going to school each day. Lonnie continues his thoughts about the new kid in school, his friends and learning about sickle cell anemia for the first time. He writes of trying to believe in God, as his little sister has done, believing one day they will be together as a family. The most heart wrenching part was his words of about not having his parents with them anymore and learning that he and his sister would be living in separate homes.

I have never read such an enjoyable children's book as LOCOMOTION. Jacqueline Woodson has opened new doors of poetic style and humble offerings. Although this book is written for ages six to twelve, a book of this magnitude can be enjoyed by all ages. Several selections brought tears to my eyes and caused my heart and soul to interact with each word. The heartfelt meaning of why Lonnie was expressing himself through words was moving. Jacqueline Woodson has indeed written another award winning children's book.

Reviewed by Kalaani

of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loco December 19, 2006
A Kid's Review
I love this book because he expereses his feelings in poems.I would recamend this book to people who like poems or are afraid to express their feelings. In stead of saying it like it's bad, but express in things that you like doing. Read this book and you'll fall in love. I wish there was a locomotion 2.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loco about Locomotion April 24, 2006
By TeeDiva
I really liked this book, although it was more of a collection of poems that actual story. It had a very loose flow to it. There was no real structure. Lonnie, the main character, told a story through statements and poems throughout the book. It is written for children without giving them that same standard type of rhyming poem that they are accustomed to seeing. It is recommended from ages six to twelve, but the issues it deals with reach a much larger fan base. From those dealing with the loss of a family member, those dealing with tragedy, and those battling sickle cell these book has a way of touching and helping those. In order to deal with the loss of his parents and separation from his sister Lili, Lonnie uses art as a medium to express his emotions. The result is a story told entirely in different kinds of poems. Long poems, short poems, sonnets, haiku, and letters to be exact. Kids love this book because it's a quick read. Each line written is a glimpse into Lonnie's soul as he discover's and becomes aware of himself and the world around him.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Locomotion, An Okay Book February 3, 2006
A Kid's Review
This book, Locomotion, was an okay book. I think that in some ways it was good and in some ways bad. The book should have been called a collection of poems rather than a book. The poems did not fit like a story well because they never reached a climax. I think that this book would suit someone who wanted to learn that poetry does not need to rhyme and that they can be very freeform. Woodson has a gift for writing poetry, but not for creating a plot. I would not recommend this book to someone looking for a great book, but for a quick read. I thought that the book did not satisfy me but still deserves a decent rating. It was interesting to discuss at times but sometimes the poems lacked deeper meaning. All in all, the book was good but not a book that I would highly recommend.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boys Can Write Good Poems Too! May 22, 2006
A Kid's Review
Locomotion is a poem book about a little boy named Lonnie who is 11 years old. His parents died in a fire and he and his sister are now living in two different homes. Lonnie is with Mrs. Edna and Lilly's with "her new momma", as Lonnie calls her. Lilly is only 8 years old. Lonnie writes the poems in a poem journal he got from his teacher. You would like this book if you like different styles of poetry and if you like good books!

I give this book 4 stars. I had a few questions while reading it. Why is the book called Locomotion? What smoke? Why is he staying at Mrs. Edna's house? How old is Lonnie? All of my questions were answered. Three things I liked best were: the poetry, how I could relate to the character a little, and the realistic setting the book had. You should definitely read this book!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what i think about LOCOMOTION April 3, 2007
A Kid's Review
In this book Locomotion is going through a lot because he is trying to live in the same foster home as his little sister, Lili. It is also hard for him because when he writes about his parents being in the fire it makes him sad. Sometimes he gets mad because whenever Locomotion goes to visit his little sister, Lili, her foster mother acts like she doesn't want him there. I would recommend this book because it is interesting how his life style was when he was growing up.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Look forward to reading more books by ms
Amazing ! Look forward to reading more books by ms. Woodson
Published 3 days ago by thyese
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright
I nearly understood it but it was ok I wish it had more of a plot. But it was ok because it had a plot of a boy who do rd his passion of poetry and his parents die in a fire from... Read more
Published 28 days ago by zoria
4.0 out of 5 stars I
Figure out how to get back to kindle from the iPad kindle app
This is so ridiculous
I don't want to review this book but can😔 t seem to do anything else
Why not make... Read more
Published 1 month ago by can't
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good book to read with you tween-ager.
Published 4 months ago by ML Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars black poor bodies are often only offered up as studies in ...
Through poetry, Jacqueline talks a very heart-warming story of Locomotion and his sister, touching on the issues of family, race and poverty in a very human and sensitive way. Read more
Published 5 months ago by pissedoffconsumer
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't hear any complaints (and believe me I would) so assume they are...
Purchased for school. Didn't hear any complaints (and believe me I would) so assume they are happy.
Published 5 months ago by CJ Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Shenice
This book was very well written . It fascinated me and was really good. I love this book so much.
Published 8 months ago by shenice mobley
5.0 out of 5 stars loco
I loved this book. I love poetry. I was so interested that I couldn't stop. I read it in 2 days. Best book ever. 😃😜😄😀😊😆😏😋😂☺
Published 8 months ago by victoria a cattelan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought for child enjoyed the read.
Published 8 months ago by F. Fleming
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
It was a good book for those of you who like poem's. The story is so engaging in the love in God and your siblings
Published 13 months ago by Loretta Douglas
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Jacqueline Woodson's awards include 3 Newbery Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and 3 Coretta Scott King Honors, 2 National Book Awards, a Margaret A. Edwards Award and an ALAN Award -- both for Lifetime Achievement in YA Literature. She is the author of more than 2 dozen books for children and young adults and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category