Locomotion By Jacqueline Woodson [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson | Reading | Young Adult | Realistic Fiction | Poetry | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I bought a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because “not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain’t babies.” But Lonnie hasn’t given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She’s already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie’s poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson’s poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is sweet and pretty. I like its simplicity, though it doesn’t have much to do with the contents of the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read a couple of Jacqueline Woodson’s books before and she’s a great writer. So when I saw this at the bookstore I decided to pick it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Through poetry written by Lonnie, the protagonist, we learn a lot about what’s going on in his life and the world around him. This is the story of him and how he’s growing through his poetry and overcoming challenges and his past with his little sister and his foster mom.

It’s a sweet story but that’s basically all there is to it. We about Lonnie’s past and how he’s trying to overcome it. It’s a lot of telling through his poetry.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

There’s only a handful of characters in this story and we see them all through Lonnie’s eyes and what he writes in his poems. Lonnie is an interesting character to follow and I liked his teacher and foster mom. His younger sister played an important role though she wasn’t in it much.

The development is subtle, but it is there for most of these characters.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a book of poems written by the main character in his point of view. They’re easy to read and flow well. The poems range from various styles and definitely work well with the plot. The book itself is short and sweet being only 100 pages. It’s a very quick read to get through.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

While I wouldn’t peg this as one of my favorite books by Jacqueline Woodson, this was a good read and I enjoyed it. This is certainly worth the read.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Ms. Marcus don’t understand some things even though she’s my favorite teacher in the world. Things like my brown, brown arm.” –Jacqueline Woodson, Locomotion

Buy the book:

Amazon

Read my reviews of Hush and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around! Also, check out some other Book Reviews I’ve done!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double Jump

Sign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Advertisements

Time To Write: A Book [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Set the Scene. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now onto this week’s writing prompt:

Creative Writing Prompt | "A Book" | Object Prompt | Writing | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the prompt above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

How To Decide Your Next Read

Choosing what book you should read next is not easy.

Sometimes you have to be in a certain mood to read a book. Other times you have your next book all picked out but then you go to the bookstore and end up finding something else. There are times you look at the millions of books on your shelves at home you haven’t read, yet you decide to go to the bookstore or library to find something new.

So, how do you typically decide what book you should read next out of all the books you currently own?

How To Decide Your Next Read | Reading | Books | RachelPoli.com

Ask a friend to pick one for you.

If you’re really unsure of what book you should read next, ask a friend or family member to pick one out for you. Tell them to explore your bookshelf and have them pick one at random. No cheating, either. You have to read whatever they pick out.

Play book bingo or another reading challenge.

Book bingo and other reading challenges are great because they get you to zero in on books you already have. I’m sure you have plenty of unread books with blue covers that you can read and check off a bingo square.

Pick a number out of a hat.

This one may be a bit tedious, but you can count how many books there are on your shelf and then pick a number out of a hat. Then count down which book is that number on your shelf and read that next.

Pick a book out of a hat.

Do the same thing above, but write down the titles and/or authors of books you haven’t read yet.

Read your unread books in alphabetical order.

Start with the letter A and work your way down your TBR pile in alphabetical order. The letters will do the choosing for you.

Reread a book you love.

It’s not exactly reading something new, but if you’re in a slump or just don’t know what to read next, reading an old favorite it sometimes the way to go.

How do you typically pick out your next read? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

WIP Wednesday [June 2018]

We’re already just about halfway through June, which is unbelievable to me. I know I say this a lot, but I feel like 2018 just started, let alone the month of June.

But anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on this month.

WIP Wednesday: June 2018 | Work in Progress | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

I’ve been working on rewriting this book, the first in the mystery series. I was hoping this would be my last draft, but I ended up making some major changes to the plot. So I’m going to finish rewriting the draft and go from there.

To have it finished by the end of the month, I’ve been writing about 25 pages a day. So far, it’s been going pretty well.

Brave

I’m working on writing the first draft of my next Wattpad story, a fantasy filled with adventure and dragons. I’ve been writing one chapter each day I work on it (which is about three days a week) and so far, I like how it’s turning out. I hope it conveys that way when I publish it.

Special Project

I’ve been working on a brand new project for the past week or so. This is something that will see the light of day, but it’s exclusive to my patrons on Patreon for now. When it does release into the world, my patrons will have exclusive stuff (I’m saying the term “stuff” loosely for now until I decide what it is) to go along with it. So, I’m excited for this one!

What projects are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Should Book Reviewers Get Paid For Their Reviews?

I always say to myself, “I would love to get paid to read.” That would really be the ideal job, right? Sitting on your couch all day with your pet, beverage of choice, snuggled in your pajamas. You can read books upon books upon books. Then get paid to write a review for the books.

As lovely as that would be, who would be paying us? Do we really expect authors to pay for reviews even after giving us a free copy of their book?

Should Book Reviewers Get Paid for Book Reviewing? | Book Reviews | Book Bloggers | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Getting Paid

I’ve seen some book bloggers post disclaimers about how they will never accept any monetary compensation for reviewing books. I’ve also seen some book bloggers offer paid services for their reviews. For example, an author can pay a fee in order to bump their book to the top of the reviewer’s TBR list.

I can certainly see why some book bloggers ask for monetary compensation to review books, though.

Book reviewing isn’t an easy as it seems. Yes, we book bloggers get a book, we read it, and then we write a review on it. It sounds simple, but it’s time-consuming and ironically a lot of work.

Book bloggers take on a lot of books at one time, often not being able to read what they want because they take on so many requests. We love books, so we get in over our heads.

Writing the actual reviews is time-consuming as well. We post it on our blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else. We share the review around for a while after we publish it.

Books are important to us and we know how difficult is it for authors to write and publish these books.

However, because we know how much work this is for authors, I don’t think it makes sense for book bloggers to ask to be paid. They’re already sending us a free copy of their book and authors already don’t get paid that much to begin with.

Am I saying book bloggers don’t work hard enough to get paid? No, absolutely not. Though I just think book reviewing is more a favor to our favorite writers and I think getting a free book in exchange is a good way to do things.

Donations

I have seen book bloggers ask for donations though. If they review a book for an author, they accept the free book and review it for free. However, they’ll ask the author if they want to donate to their website or blog in return.

I don’t think this is a bad way of doing things. Bloggers work hard and we put a lot of time and money into our websites. If an author is happy with the way the blogger handled the review process, then asking them to make a simple donation to keep their site up and running so they can add more book reviews, isn’t a bad idea.

Of course, it’s just a donation. People aren’t obligated to pay anything.

Being A Book Blogger

While being a book blogger is a job in itself, it’s fun and I enjoy adding books to my reading list as well as aiding authors out on their writing journey.

It would certainly be nice to get paid to review books because it’d be a fun and easy job, but I like the satisfaction of helping out fellow writers.

What are your thoughts? Do you think book bloggers should get paid to write book reviews? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Does Reading Help Your Writing?

One of the biggest pieces of writing advice I hear from authors and writers alike is: “Read, read, read.” The more you read, the more your writing will improve.

The reasoning behind this is that you’ll learn from the authors before you and you’ll be able to improve your writing based on the way they write their own books.

But is that really true? Can reading actually help improve your writing?

Does Reading Help Your Writing | Creative Writing | Reading | Books | RachelPoli.com

Reading Craft Books

If you’re reading books based on the writing craft, then yes, you can certainly learn a lot. There are craft books based on getting published, writing the first draft, creating characters, writing in various genres, and so much more.

The information is out there and it’s definitely useful. You can learn a lot when it comes to the writing process and writing in a specific genre as well as sending your work out into the real work.

So, can reading craft books improve your writing? I think so. If you’re learning something new, then it can improve your writing.

Reading In Your Genre

Reading fiction in your genre or nonfiction or poetry can help aid you in your own writing endeavors. You can learn a lot based on certain genres based on the way different authors write in the same genre.

You can see how they do things and get ideas for your own stories. A great piece of advice I’ve heard is “steal other ideas.” Don’t plagiarize, of course, but you can take other people’s ideas and turn them into your own. Use that “what if?” factor and turn their idea into something completely different.

Writing Mechanics

Reading works from other writers and authors can help you understand formatting and structure of writing as well as grammar mechanics. I can admit I’ve learned a thing or two about commas while reading books… though I’m still bad with commas.

My Opinion

So, does reading actually help your writing? My answer is not really.

You can learn a lot, yes, and see how other writers do things, but I don’t think it can necessarily help your own writing grow.

Writing is a form of creativity and uses a lot of imagination power. There is no right way or wrong way to write. We all have our own style of writing, our own ideas, and fictional characters.

We, as writers, can learn how other writers do things and we can try it out. However, in my opinion, the more you practice writing, the more you find your own style and way of getting your story across the page.

So, reading does help your writing, but it doesn’t help your writing.

What’s your opinion on this? Do you think, as a writer, you have to read in order to write better? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Short Story Sunday 216: Nothing

Short Story: "Nothing" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

“Oh, it was nothing.” He had said. But she knew better.

It was nothing to him, no skin off his back, but it bothered her. She didn’t know why it bothered her and she didn’t want it to bother her. But it did.

Did it really matter? There was nothing she could do about it. There were no more words to be said. There were no more actions to take.

He was fine, he was happy. That was all that mattered, right? But what about her?

People asked, “Is something the matter? What’s wrong?”

And she simply replied, “It’s nothing.”

Words: 100

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out my other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com