The Dollar Kids

The Dollar Kids


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“A skillfully written and heartfelt novel about a family making a new home, recovering from grief, and the town full of people who join them on their journey.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from the city and all of the awful memories associated with it, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Will the Grovers find they’ve traded one set of problems for another? From the author of Small as an Elephant and Paper Things comes a heart-tugging novel about guilt and grief, family and friendship, and, above all, community.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763694746
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 593,391
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

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The Dollar Kids 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MCM66 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the go-getter positive attitudes for the characters in this book. It's definitely one of my top 20 books for 2018. I felt that the plot rang true, lots of kids will identify with the struggle for housing security and community connections.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Richard Jacobson's The Dollar Kids features five families of various backgrounds moving to a rural dying town in America and the adventures of their first year, especially that of Lowen Grover, a twelve year old who is running from the shooting death of his friend, which he feels responsible for. The portrayal of Lowen's grief for Abe is extremely well written and realistic. It is not too extreme for middle grade, but still is a deep book and a great read for readers of any age. Lowen's behavior when trying to come to terms with the death is hard hitting, and it influences his family's behavior as well. Lowen's grief, even months after the event, is well portrayed and hard hitting without becoming too dark. The entire family was impacted in different ways, all of which are explored at various points within the book. This even impacts how the characters treat each other, and explains many motivations and interactions between the family members and even other individuals. The Clay and Lowen relationship is very interesting, especially how Lowen's view of his older brother changes. Lowen's view of everyone is really interesting, especially as he discovers motivations as they are revealed in the book for the reader. I really like how Jacobson took this idea of dollar homes and developed this world out of it, a setting that could be so many towns. The town was well described, both with physical descriptions of architecture and in the relationships and interactions between characters. The distrust of newcomers is a real thing in a town like this, and these emotions were really well described with Lowen as the outsider. The discussion of race is interesting, but I wish that the Grover family was not the only white family of the dollar families, since this could have been an easy adjustment to have a POC as the main character. Still, the ideas of outsiders coming in and destroying the town was a well done and enjoyable element. The mix between the old and the new, of ideas and people, is well presented and fits in perfectly with the average small town chosen as the setting. My number one problem with this book is the vast amount of characters and how many of the unimportant characters are not described well enough to tell apart, even when it matters. The representation was amazing, but I honestly lost track of most of the dollar families. I have no idea which kids were siblings after the families moved into houses. I didn't even remember some of the names while I was reading, which caused problems when I literally had no clue who this was. It is definitely hard to keep track of everyone, and it does impact movement and understanding of the plot at some points. Maybe it is because crowdfunding was not a thing when I was twelve and reading primarily MG, but I loved the use of crowdfunding and how it was incorporated to fit this book into modern society. Many elements rely on an old fashioned town, but this helped bring the book into the modern world. Lowen and Sami were absolutely adorable, and Dylan was a really interesting character as well. This book is a great example of a later aged MG, discussing some serious topics but still in a light way. I adored the read and it is definitely worth your time for any age reader.
Moriah Conant More than 1 year ago
Wow, my heart. This book dealt with survivor's guilt, moving, making new friends, grief, death, and so many other hard topics. "The Dollar Kids" makes you want to keep reading. I would definitely recommend this book to others. Thanks NetGalley for the read.