Jacqueline Woodson Peace, Locomotion

ISBN 13: 9781423398011

Peace, Locomotion

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9781423398011: Peace, Locomotion
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Grade 4-6; Age 9-11 Twelve-year-old Lonnie is finally starting to feel at home with his foster family. But he still lives apart from his little sister, Lili, so he decides it’s his job to be the “rememberer” ― and write down everything that happens while they’re growing up. Lonnie’s reflections in his letters to Lili are bittersweet. He’s happy that they both have good foster families, but while his new family brings him joy, it also brings new worries: With a foster brother in the army, concepts like Peace have new meaning for Lonnie. Told solely through letters from Lonnie to Lili, this thought-provoking companion to Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award Finalist Locomotion tackles important issues in captivating, lyrical language. Lonnie’s reflections on family, loss, love and peace will strike a note with readers of all ages.

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About the Author:

Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, is the author of Feathers, Newbery Honor winner Show Way, Miracle’s Boys (recipient of a Coretta Scott King Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Locomotion and Hush (both National Book Award finalists), among many others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Remember I said, One day, we’ll be together again? I know that day is taking a lot longer to come than it should, but I still believe it’s gonna get here, Little Sister. And that’s why I’m trying to write you lots and lots. Because I love writing and I love you and when me and you are together again, I’m gonna want us to remember everything that happened when we were living apart. I’m gonna hold on to all these letters and when we’re living together again, they’re gonna be the first present I give you. A whole box of the Before Time. That’s what this is, Lili, even though I know when me and you get sad, all we think about is the other Before Time—before the fire, before we lived apart from each other. But this is a whole new Before Time. And it’s cool because we’ll be able to re­member a whole other set of good things, right? So I’m writing. And I’m remembering. For me. And for you, Lili.

Also by Jacqueline Woodson

After Tupac and D Foster

Behind You

Beneath a Meth Moon

Between Madison and Palmetto

Brown Girl Dreaming

The Dear One


From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

The House You Pass on the Way


I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This

If You Come Softly

Last Summer with Maizon



Maizon at Blue Hill

Miracle’s Boys


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Copyright © 2009 by Jacqueline Woodson.

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Woodson, Jacqueline.
Peace, Locomotion / Jacqueline Woodson. p. cm.

Summary: Through letters to his little sister, who is living in a different foster home, sixth-grader Lonnie, also known as “Locomotion,” keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

[1. Foster home care—Fiction. 2. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 3. Orphans—Fiction.
4. Peace—Fiction. 5. African Americans—Fiction. 6. Letters—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.W868Pe 2009 [Fic]—dc22 2008018583


ISBN: 9781440699160

For Tashawn and Ming
And eventually, for Ryleigh

Table of Contents



Also by Jacqueline Woodson

Title Page

Copyright Page



Imagine Peace

Dear Lili,

Little Things by Lonnie C. Motion

Dear Lili,

Imagine Peace Again


Discussion Questions

An Excerpt from Brown Girl Dreaming

An Excerpt from Locomotion

Also by Jacqueline Woodson

Last Summer with Maizon
The Dear One
Maizon at Blue Hill
Between Madison and Palmetto
I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This
The House You Pass on the Way
If You Come Softly
Miracle’s Boys
Behind You
After Tupac and D Foster


This whole book’s a poem ’cause every time I try to
tell the whole story my mind goes Be quiet!
Only it’s not my mind’s voice,
it’s Miss Edna’s over and over and over
Be quiet!


I’m not a really loud kid, I swear. I’m just me and
sometimes I maybe make a little bit of noise.
If I was a grown-up maybe Miss Edna
wouldn’t always be telling me to be quiet
but I’m eleven and maybe eleven’s just noisy.


Maybe twelve’s quieter.


But when Miss Edna’s voice comes on, the ideas in my
head go out like a candle and all you see left is this little
string of smoke that disappears real quick
before I even have a chance to find out
what it’s trying to say.


So this whole book’s a poem because poetry’s short and


this whole book’s a poem ’cause Ms. Marcus says
write it down before it leaves your brain.
I tell her about the smoke and she says
Good, Lonnie, write that.
Not a whole lot of people be saying Good, Lonnie to me
so I write the string-of-smoke thing down real fast.
Ms. Marcus says We’ll worry about line breaks later.


Write fast, Lonnie, Ms. Marcus says.
And I’m thinking Yeah, I better write fast before Miss
Edna’s voice comes on and blows my candle idea out.


At night sometimes after Miss Edna goes to bed I go
up on the roof
Sometimes I sit counting the stars
Maybe one is my mama and
another one is my daddy And maybe that’s why
sometimes they flicker a bit
I mean the stars flicker


Ms. Marcus
line breaks help
us figure out
what matters
to the poet
Don’t jumble your ideas
Ms. Marcus says
Every line
should count.


Once when we was real
I was sitting at the window holding my baby sister, Lili
on my lap.
Mama was in the kitchen and Daddy must’ve
been at work.
Mama kept saying
Honey, don’t you drop my baby.


A pigeon came flying over to the ledge
and was looking at us.
Lili put her hand on the glass and the pigeon tried
to peck at it.
Lili snatched her hand away and screamed.
Not a scared scream,
just one of those laughing screams
that babies who can’t talk yet like to do.


Mama came running out the kitchen
drying her hands on her jeans.
When she saw us just sitting there, she let out a breath.
Oh, my Lord, she said,
I thought you’d dropped my baby.
I asked
Was I ever your baby, Mama?
and Mama looked at me all warm and smiley.


You still are, she said.
Then she went back in the kitchen.


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Jacqueline Woodson
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ISBN 10: 1423398017 ISBN 13: 9781423398011
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