The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Book Review #393

Title: The Dollar Kids

Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Genre: Middle Grade

Format: Paperback

Source: Pansing

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Pages: 416

When a family buys a house in a struggling town for just one dollar, they’re hoping to start over — but have they traded one set of problems for another?

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 Flintlock and all of the awful memories associated with the city, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. Fortunately, his family is willing to give it a try. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Will Millville and the dollar house be the answer to the Grovers’ troubles? Or will they 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.

The Dollar Kids is a story about grief, guilt, starting over again and the comforts of friends and family. This is the story of the Grovers and the town of Millville that became their new home. They decided to apply for buying a house for just one dollar. It may sound like a dream come true until reality sets in and they start to realise whether it was even worth all the hassle.

Lowen is still grieving his best friend who died from a gun shooting in a convenience store. Just one act of annoyance could make him regret, that guilt of thinking he sent away his friend to death. But slowly, he begins to realise and come to the conclusion to simply deal with it and live peacefully that it wasn’t his fault after all.

The people of Millsville were reluctant to accept them because some of them thought it was unfair. I mean, seriously, a home for just a dollar sounds like a dream but there was a lot of other things on the line as well-bills to pay, the shop that his mom opened and other commitments. They are then willing to do whatever it takes to make this town proudly their own home.

This book has a lot important messages and morals that readers can simply learn from. Of learning to lend their hands to help out one another, having hope for something that seem hopeless and above all the importance of companionships.

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