"There used to be four of us/Mama, Daddy, Lili and me. At night we went to sleep./In the morning we woke up and ate breakfast./That was four years ago."
11-year old Lonnie Collins Motion, Locomotion, suffers a traumatic life change when he's seven, and continues to be haunted by the events. But his 5th grade teacher, Ms. Marcus, shows him how to get his feelings down in poetry, and all the pain, like "little strings of smoke," finally have an outlet.
This novel in verse, similar in form to Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, lets the reader into Lonnie's world and follows him through his pain and catharsis.
Ms. Woodson's rhythmical, spare prose style lends itself well to this book of poems.