Synopses & Reviews
National Book Award Winner
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a childs soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodsons eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Praise for Jacqueline Woodson:
Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”The New York Times Book Review
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Unfolds with harsh beauty and the ominousness of opportunities lost. . . . The matter-of-fact tone of Chloe's narration paired against the illustrations' visual isolation of Maya creates its own tension. . . . Lewis dazzles with frame-worthy illustrations, masterful use of light guiding readers' emotional responses."
"This quiet, intense picture book is about the small actions that can haunt. . . . Woodson's spare, eloquent free verse and Lewis' beautiful, spacious watercolor paintings tell a story for young kids that will touch all ages."
* “The writers passion for stories and storytelling permeates the memoir, explicitly addressed in her early attempts to write books and implicitly conveyed through her sharp images and poignant observations seen through the eyes of a child. Woodsons ability to listen and glean meaning from what she hears lead to an astute understanding of her surroundings, friends, and family.”
* “Mesmerizing journey through [Woodsons] early years. . . . Her perspective on the volatile era in which she grew up is thoughtfully expressed in powerfully effective verse. . . . With exquisite metaphorical verse Woodson weaves a patchwork of her life experience . . . that covers readers with a warmth and sensitivity no child should miss. This should be on every library shelf.”
* “Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned. For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share.”
* “[Woodsons] memoir in verse is a marvel, as it turns deeply felt remembrances of Woodsons preadolescent life into art. . . . Her mother cautions her not to write about her family but, happily, many years later, she has and the result is both elegant and eloquent, a haunting book about memory that is itself altogether memorable.
* “A memoir-in-verse so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the authors childhood right along with her. . . . Most notably of all, perhaps, we trace her development as a nascent writer, from her early, overarching love of stories through her struggles to learn to read through the thrill of her first blank composition book to her realization that ‘words are [her] brilliance. The poetry here sings: specific, lyrical, and full of imagery. An extraordinary—indeed brilliant—portrait of a writer as a young girl.”
* “The effect of this confiding and rhythmic memoir is cumulative, as casual references blossom into motifs and characters evolve from quick references to main players. . . . Revealing slices of life, redolent in sight, sound, and emotion. . . . Woodson subtly layers her focus, with history and geography the background, family the middle distance, and her younger self the foreground. . . . Eager readers and budding writers will particularly see themselves in the young protagonist and recognize her reveling in the luxury of the library and unfettered delight in words. . . . A story of the ongoing weaving of a family tapestry, the following of an individual thread through a gorgeous larger fabric, with the tacit implication that were all traversing such rich landscapes. It will make young readers consider where their own threads are taking them.”
* “Woodson uses clear, evocative language. . . . A beautifully crafted work.”
Through his own poetry, 11-year-old Lonnie Collins shares his heartbreak over his late parents and his love for his younger sister Lili, separated from him when they were placed in foster care. A 2003 National Book Award Finalist and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
When Lonnie Collins MotionLocomotionwas seven years old, his life changed forever. Now hes eleven, and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. And suddenly, Lonnie has a whole new way to tell the world about his life, his friends, his little sister Lili, and even his foster mom, Miss Edna, who started out crabby but isnt so bad after all. Jacqueline Woodsons novel-in-poems is humorous, heartbreaking . . . a triumph.
Its simple yet honest poetry gives you a clear look into the feelings and emotions of Lonnie as he takes what he is given and makes poetry out of it. Locomotion gives you a point of view not often told and takes you on a journey to remember. VOYA
Each kindness makes the world a little better
Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different--she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.
This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.
WINNER OF A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR!
Each kindness makes the world a little better
This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.
Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.
About the Author
Jacqueline Woodson is the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, the recipient of three Newbery Honor Awards for After Tupac and D Foster
and Show Way
, and a two-time finalist for the National Book Award for Locomotion
. Other awards include the Coretta Scott King Award and Los Angeles Times
Book Prize for Miracle's Boys
. Her most recent novel, Beneath a Meth Moon
, will be published spring 2012. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
E. B. Lewis has illustrated more than fifty picture books, including Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Talkin' About Bessie (by Nikki Grimes) and Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon (by Jacqueline Woodson). He taught art in public schools for twelve years, and currently teaches at the University of Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.