The other themes, like death and sadness were both described in the books as well as all the Woodson books discussed in class. In Locomotion, Lonnie’s parents are both killed in a fire, a life event that he repeatedly refers to in various ways with diverse emotions ranging from sadness to guilt to remorse. The sadness and emptiness that Lonnie feels in his life- the lack of his sister and parents is also demonstrated across all of Woodson’s books. These emotions were described from the perspective of a child, so it makes it more accessible for elementary students to read and connect to.
I got a lot out of reading Jacqueline Woodson’s book and I found it interesting how much overlapping there was among all the books, with common themes. The urban setting and the sense of family tragedy ran through all of her books, so it made finding a set of books simple for students who can relate to this theme. Also, the main character in the books was mainly African-American. Their Caucasian counterparts, especially in children’s books, outnumber this group of narrators. Jacqueline Woodson does a fantastic job making her writing easily understood to readers while still discussing very complex and deep themes and ideas, which is ideal for upper elementary grades.