Woodson has a way of saying a lot in a few words, and she pulls it off again in this sequel to Locomotion (and thank goodness they’re giving her some better covers now!) While this one stands on its own, you get much more background and context if you read the first one – and why not, they’re both quick books. While the first one was written as a series of poems written by Lonnie, this one is composed of letters he writes to his little sister, who is living with a different foster family.
What stands out are the characters and their relationships with each other – Lonnie and his foster mother, his foster brothers (including one recently back from war), and his friends at school. They all feel like real people that you’ve glimpsed briefly but who you instantly know.
The book touches on a lot of “issues” without ever really being an issue-driven book. You’ve got the death of Lonnie’s parents, living in foster care, veterans coming back from war – but it’s still a book very much about the experience of being a kid.
While I usually like to spend more time with a book, read something where you spend more time with those characters, Woodson does what she does so well that I give in and go along for the ride.
Source: my public library