When Lonnie C. Motion tries to understand Peace, he struggles through his foster brother returning injured from the war, his sister Lili’s foster mother who sometimes keeps them apart, his new teacher who doesn’t think he’s a poet because he’s not published and his own hard past. Still living separate from Lili, Lonnie, a.k.a. Locomotion, writes endearing truthful letters to make up for the time between visits.
Jacqueline Woodson has created a wise, thoughtful, achingly believable child who absorbs what he sees and hears, and then tries to live out Peace in his daily life. “From now on, I’m gonna be doing everything about peace, Lili. I’m going to be praying for it and thinking about it and trying to make it a part of every single thing.”
Although Peace is elusive and confusing, I think Lonnie does what he says. See if your students can list in their reading journals all the things Lonnie does toward Peace.