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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Peace, Locomotion, written by Jacqueline Woodson. Penguin Group (Canada), 2009. $17.50 ages 12 and up

"I think Peace is pretty - like my sister, Lili.
And I think it's nice - like my friend Clyde.
I think if you imagine it, like that
Beatle guy used to sing about>
Then it can happen.
Yeah, I think
Peace Can Happen."

If you are lucky to know the work of this fine author, you may have met Lonnie in an earlier novel and know about his love for his little sister, and the problems that plague his family life. He is finding peace and joy in his new foster home, while still missing Lili, who has been fostered to another family. He makes the decision to be the ‘rememberer’ for her and in doing so, begins a series of letters to tell her what is happening to him and to help them always remember this time in their young lives. It is a memory log for their future. He is happy that they have good homes, but he worries, too. His foster brother is in the army and Lonnie begins to understand peace in a new and different way. Through his letters he also talks about other issues that impact him in persuasive, emotional language. We are blessed to be listeners as Lonnie considers family, loss, love and his new understanding of peace. This is a book that will make an impression on all who read it.

If you have not yet read any of Jacqueline Woodson's remarkable books, don't wait any longer. She has such a way with words and characters. She draws you straight into their lives and holds you there until the final word is read. She gives us pause to look at the world in a different, more empathetic way...remembering that we are all part of a much larger universe.

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