Cover image for The dollar kids
Title:
The dollar kids
ISBN:
9781543687224
Edition:
Unabridged.
Physical Description:
6 audio discs (7 hr., 47 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.
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Added Author:
Summary:
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 mom 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.
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Summary

Summary

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 is still reeling from the shooting death of his best friend, Abe, when he stumbles across an article about a small town giving away homes for just one dollar. It seems like the perfect escape from Flintlock and all of the awful memories associated with the city -- and to his surprise, his mum, dad, and older brother are all onboard. Only his sister, Anneth, is reluctant to leave her friends and the familiarity (and amenities ) of Flintlock, but with the rest of the family anxious to do what's best for grief-stricken Lowen, her protests fall on deaf ears. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in much worse shape than it appeared from the pictures, and the locals aren't exactly welcoming. Some of them even seem to resent the so-called Dollar Families. Will Millville and the dollar house be the answer to the Grovers' troubles? 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.


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-After the shooting death of his best friend, Lowen's family decides to move to a struggling town where they are selling houses for a dollar. Unfortunately, though dirt cheap, the houses are in terrible condition, and the townspeople treat the new residents as charity cases and are openly hostile. Meanwhile, Lowen tries to process his grief through the comic strips he draws, which are sprinkled throughout. He also helps his family work on repairs to bring their house up to the town's standards, helps support his mother's new business, and adjusts to his new school. At play in this book are a number of overlapping social issues: loss of manufacturing jobs, class divides, racial divides (many of the "dollar families" are the town's only non-white residents), and gun violence. Without resorting to stereotypes, Jacobson creates a rich cast of characters who are realistic and complex. The prose flows naturally and the pacing is swift. While not every question is answered and not every character becomes friends, the ending is a satisfying and emotional one. VERDICT 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.-Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Jacobson (Paper Things) confronts loss and new beginnings in this potent and affirming novel. Lowen, a promising 11-year-old cartoonist, blames himself for the death of his friend Abe, who was killed in a convenience store shooting. When a former mill town offers dilapidated homes for one dollar, Abe sees the change of address as a perfect escape from the city and his guilt, and his family pins their hopes on the move. In the new town, Lowen's British mother attempts to launch a Cornish pasty shop, and the whole family pitches in to make required repairs on their home. The narrative effectively portrays the clash between the family's big dreams and the grim reality of the house, as well as tensions and resentments between the "dollar families" and the town residents. Jacobson memorably sketches Lowen's family dynamics, particularly his complicated relationship with his older brother, and his journey offers a compelling portrait of community and rebirth. Andrews's comics panels, which appear at several key intervals in the text, offer further insight into Lowen's struggles, particularly his grief over Abe's death. Ages 10-14. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

After the shooting death of his best friend, eleven-year-old aspiring cartooonist Lowen Grover ("his" comics are interspersed) convinces his family to move to Milltown. Hoping for revitalization, the down-on-its-luck town is giving away homes for one dollar, which proves too good to be true. Facing myriad financial and social challenges, the Grovers persevere in this emotionally resonant family drama featuring a diverse cast of likable characters. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A family relocates to a former mill town, lured by the opportunity to reset their lives by starting a business and purchasing a run-down house for $1.Budding middle school artist Lowen Grover is still full of grief and guilt over the random shooting of a friend when his family agrees to apply to an experimental program sponsored by the small, declining factory town of Millville. In exchange for a handful of dilapidated homes offered to young families for practically nothing, the town gets to add new students to their school and sports activities and new businesses to their economic base. Lowen, his siblings, and the cohort of other newcomers come to be known as "the Dollar Kids," as some of the Millvillian residents see them as impoverished "moochers." The Grovers are white, while Lowen's new friend, Sami, is Indian-American, and his minor love interest, Luna, is Latina. Jacobson insightfully examines the dynamics of small-town life and strategies for revitalization as well as the landscape of Lowen's complex grief and survivor's guilt. The story incorporates Lowen's graphic-novel panels contemplating his feelings about his deceased friend, Abe, whom he calls "the unseen force," including ecumenical references to heaven and hell. The story kicks into its rightful pace by midbook.A rich, thoughtful exploration of individual and community resilience. (Fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Lowen, 12, secretly believes he caused his friend Abe's shooting death. His guilt, which he describes as a snake in his stomach, is overwhelming. When he reads about foreclosed homes being sold for a dollar in the distant town of Millville, he thinks it is an opportunity to get away. When his family is accepted into the program and they arrive in Millville, they find that the house is a daunting project, and many of the people in town don't seem too happy to see them. Even worse, Lowen's guilt has followed him. Over the year, Lowen and his family work on their house, try to get his mother's business going, and try to assimilate into the town, hoping to be more than a Dollar Family. A budding comic artist, Lowen copes with his grief through drawing a comic about Abe and struggles with a letter to Abe's mother, taking responsibility for Abe's death. In turns funny, poignant, and heartwarming, this is a novel of transformation both personal and global.--Donna Scanlon Copyright 2018 Booklist