The stunning companion to the National Book Award finalist--from a three-time Newbery Honor winning author

Twelve-year-old Lonnie is finally feeling at home with his foster family. But because he’s living apart from his little sister, Lili, he decides it’s his job to be the “rememberer”—and write down everything that happens while they’re growing up. Lonnie’s musings are bittersweet; he’s happy that he and Lili have new families, but though 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 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.
© John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) received a 2023 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. She was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and in 2015, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She received the 2014 National Book Award for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, the NAACP Image Award, and a Sibert Honor. She wrote the adult books Red at the Bone, a New York Times bestseller, and Another Brooklyn, a 2016 National Book Award finalist. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She is the author of dozens of award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books include Coretta Scott King Award and NAACP Image Award winner Before the Ever After; New York Times bestsellers The Day You Begin and Harbor Me; The Other Side, Caldecott Honor book Coming On Home Soon; Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; Miracle's Boys, which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award; and Each Kindness, which won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Jacqueline is also a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. View titles by Jacqueline Woodson

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

Feathers

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

The House You Pass on the Way

Hush

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This

If You Come Softly

Last Summer with Maizon

Lena

Locomotion

Maizon at Blue Hill

Miracle’s Boys

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

A division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Published by The Penguin Group.
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.).
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
(a division of Penguin Books Ltd.).
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,
Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd).
Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India.
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd).
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,
Johannesburg 2196, South Africa.
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.

 

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

 

Remember?

Also by Jacqueline Woodson

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

 

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
Lena
Miracle’s Boys
Hush
Locomotion
Behind You
Feathers
After Tupac and D Foster

POEM BOOK

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.

ROOF

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

LINE BREAK POEM

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

MEMORY

Once when we was real
little
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.

 

* “Readers of Locomotion will welcome the chance to revisit Lonnie’s world. . . . While his confusion, pain, and loss are at times palpable, so too are the moments of comfort, love, and sheer joy. . . . The small details of his days drop readers into his Brooklyn neighborhood, surrounded by characters who seem to walk right off the page. Moving, thought-provoking, and brilliantly executed, this is the rare sequel that lives up to the promise of its predecessor.”
School Library Journal, starred review
 
“A moving companion to the National Book Award Finalist Locomotion. . . . The spare, beautiful prose—both the dialogue and the fast first-person narrative—is as lyrical as the first book. The simple words are packed with longing and are eloquent about the little things people don’t think real hard about, little things that reveal the big issues of family, community, displacement, war, and peace.”
Booklist
 
“Woodson creates a full-bodied character in kind, sensitive Lonnie. Readers will understand his quest for peace, and appreciate the hard work he does to find it.”
Publishers Weekly

About

The stunning companion to the National Book Award finalist--from a three-time Newbery Honor winning author

Twelve-year-old Lonnie is finally feeling at home with his foster family. But because he’s living apart from his little sister, Lili, he decides it’s his job to be the “rememberer”—and write down everything that happens while they’re growing up. Lonnie’s musings are bittersweet; he’s happy that he and Lili have new families, but though 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 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.

Author

© John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) received a 2023 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. She was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and in 2015, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She received the 2014 National Book Award for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, the NAACP Image Award, and a Sibert Honor. She wrote the adult books Red at the Bone, a New York Times bestseller, and Another Brooklyn, a 2016 National Book Award finalist. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She is the author of dozens of award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books include Coretta Scott King Award and NAACP Image Award winner Before the Ever After; New York Times bestsellers The Day You Begin and Harbor Me; The Other Side, Caldecott Honor book Coming On Home Soon; Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; Miracle's Boys, which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award; and Each Kindness, which won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Jacqueline is also a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. View titles by Jacqueline Woodson

Excerpt

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

Feathers

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

The House You Pass on the Way

Hush

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This

If You Come Softly

Last Summer with Maizon

Lena

Locomotion

Maizon at Blue Hill

Miracle’s Boys

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

A division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Published by The Penguin Group.
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.).
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
(a division of Penguin Books Ltd.).
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,
Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd).
Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India.
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd).
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,
Johannesburg 2196, South Africa.
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.

 

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

 

Remember?

Also by Jacqueline Woodson

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

 

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
Lena
Miracle’s Boys
Hush
Locomotion
Behind You
Feathers
After Tupac and D Foster

POEM BOOK

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.

ROOF

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

LINE BREAK POEM

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

MEMORY

Once when we was real
little
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.

 

Praise

* “Readers of Locomotion will welcome the chance to revisit Lonnie’s world. . . . While his confusion, pain, and loss are at times palpable, so too are the moments of comfort, love, and sheer joy. . . . The small details of his days drop readers into his Brooklyn neighborhood, surrounded by characters who seem to walk right off the page. Moving, thought-provoking, and brilliantly executed, this is the rare sequel that lives up to the promise of its predecessor.”
School Library Journal, starred review
 
“A moving companion to the National Book Award Finalist Locomotion. . . . The spare, beautiful prose—both the dialogue and the fast first-person narrative—is as lyrical as the first book. The simple words are packed with longing and are eloquent about the little things people don’t think real hard about, little things that reveal the big issues of family, community, displacement, war, and peace.”
Booklist
 
“Woodson creates a full-bodied character in kind, sensitive Lonnie. Readers will understand his quest for peace, and appreciate the hard work he does to find it.”
Publishers Weekly

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