Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

After a house fire that takes the lives of their parents, Lonnie (12) and his sister Lili (9) are placed in different foster homes.  Lonnie, who likes to be called”Locomotion” writes letters to his sister who he misses terribly.  He updates her on what is happening at his school, his friends, his poetry, and about the war that is going on and the son that his foster mom has in it.  When the war hits close to home…. Lonnie starts writing about peace.

As time passes and Lonnie continues to write to his sister, his writing changes s he grows and matures in to his surroundings.  Lonnie starts to really understand the meaning of family, understanding that it can go beyond his sister as he learns to let others in.

If you have never read or listened to a Jacqueline Woodson book I highly recommend that you do.  I first read her last year with I Hadn’t Meant To Tell You This, and found her writing to be a steady smooth gathering of words that made it hard to put her book down.  In this instance, I listened on audio and I am so glad I chose this format.

This audio was read by Dion Graham and he was the perfect voice for Lonnie (Locomotion).  I really enjoyed how Dion gave the 12-year-old feel to Lonnie’s voice, the excitement, the sorrow, even when he was angry.

Within this short story you really get the feel for how important teachers are to kids.  When  teacher tells Lonnie what a great writer he is, he blooms, and not only improves in his already great writing, but in his other classes as well.  When we is told that is not a poet, he crumbles…. and both sides of this is reflected well.

Written as a series of letters, I found this short audio to be a perfect listen and a new dimension to experience with Woodson.  If this book would have been large I can see where it may have drug out and become too much, yet in a short amount of time Woodson bundled up a young foster boys life into a careful package of hope, love, and peace.

Amazon Rating

Book 3 on my WHERE are you reading map

I purchased this from

15 thoughts on “Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

    1. I smiled a lot during the audio because the voice was so right on…. I wondered if I would have always picked up on the excitement of a grader, or the sorrow as well as I did through the narrator.

  1. Interesting format and effective in illustrating how his voice changes over time. i have seen a few long books done in this style and wasn’t crazy about them. However, I can see how it would work better for a short story. Will have to check this one out.

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