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Lonnie Collins Motion

In Locomotion and it's followup Peace, Locomotion, Jacqueline Woodson creates an interesting character with a compelling back story. By reading Locomotion we learn though poetry the story of a boy who was orphaned. As Lonnie becomes more immersed in the world and creation of poetry his story emerges. It is less like a novel in verse and more like a collection of poems that loosely come together to give the impression of a story. I really enjoyed reading about Lonnie's journey through poetry.

Unlike Locomotion's verse style Peace, Locomotion is a series of letters. It was interesting to see the characters continue in a different format. At first, I definitely didn't like it. I really love the voice and style that Woodson had Lonnie write his poetry with. I felt like I connected with him and his writing. I had a hard time connecting with the letters, but slowly I got used to the change and really enjoyed the book. It was interesting to see how Lonnie's relationship with poetry changed and progressed from the first book.

"In the first day of school, I told Ms. Cooper I was a poet since last year Ms. Marcus told me that's what I should call myself because she said my poems were really good. I liked saying I'm a poet a whole lot and every time I say it to Rodney or Miss Edna, they always say You sure are, so just keep on writing those poems, Lonnie. But when I said it to Ms. Cooper, she just looked at me and folded her arms. Then she asked me if I'd published any books. I said not yet, since I'm only in sixth grade and all. But I told her I wanted to publish a whole lot one day. Ms. Cooper just gave me her back and walked over to her desk. She said, "Until you publish a book, you're not a poet, you;re an aspiring poet, Lonnie." So after that I went back to being just a regular boy--not a poet like Ms. Marcus had said. I guess there's just people that think you're a good poet and eople who don't really care about poetry and the people who like to write it. I still write a few poems but mostly I'm writing these letters to you, Lili. It's not like I believe Ms. Cooper--it's just that she made me feel a little stupid for thinking I was really a poet."

Pages 10 and 11 of Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson.