THE DOLLAR KIDS, By Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Illustrated by Ryan Andrews, Candlewick Press


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.

Out August 7, 2018


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

There are many difficult subjects covered in this middle-grade read: Racism, friendship, guilt, grief and depression.  Quite the arsenal for young kids to read about.  However, the writing is done expertly and simply, giving the story honest substance, written in a delicate manner that will be easy to understand.

There are sad and funny moments and great interaction of characters. This is an endearing book that may strum the heart-strings. Grief is an all-too-real problem in this day and age, striking all ages, and should be address early on in life to enforce coping strategies for the years to come.

The story is a perfect example of the “problem books” that are written more and more using genuine characters to narrate the story through choppy and stormy topics.  Have tissue handy, you’ll need them.

I gave this book:


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