Thursday, July 5, 2018

Would You Purchase A Run-Down House For $1?

The Dollar Kids

Jennifer Richard Jacobson

#NetGalley #TheDollarKids         Available For Purchase August 7, 2018

Lowen Grover recently lost his friend who was killed in a random shooting at a convenience store, a tragedy that Lowen blames himself for since he'd sent his friend there. When Lowen sees an advertisement for $1 houses in exchange for agreeing to fix them up,  he jumps at the opportunity to leave behind horrible memories. His family agrees that it might be fun to take part in Millville's experiment to build up their declining town. They fill out an application, in hopes of being chosen to purchase one of the homes.

Lowen's mother has high hopes of contributing to the town by opening a  pastry take-out shop. But when the families who are chosen to purchase houses for one dollar arrive, things don't go exactly as they'd hoped. Lowen, his siblings, and the other children come to be known as "the dollar kids." And at this point, that's not necessarily a good title. The townspeople are wary of the newcomers and most aren't too welcoming.

The newcomers find that the town needs the kids to be able to keep their school open as well as to compete in sports with other teams. And sports are a very important recreation for Millville residents.

Each of the Grover children, as well as the adults, have to figure out different ways of being accepted into the community. Mrs. Grover has a competing restaurant, which she is trying to work around and with, but the town, or at least some, are fearful and unaccepting.

What Concerned Me:  At the beginning of the book I thought I could see the end coming and it would be a good book, but not too in-depth. Nope. Don't be concerned about that.

For those who might be bothered (can't imagine many) there is a reference to heaven, hell, and death.

What I Liked Most: This covers so many aspects of life: death, guilt, financial problems, accepting change, teamwork, family bonding, friendship, and the list goes on and on.

I'm not usually hooked on a middle-grade book, but after I got into this story, it kept drawing me back. The writing is very good and the intertwining of so many things never felt hard to follow or didactic. The characters are developed very well and I was able to easily envision the town of Millville.

I'm very glad I got the opportunity to receive an ARC of this book. If your kids aren't old enough to read this themselves, you might want to look through it and decide if it's something that would be good to read to them. I highly recommend it.

Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Publisher: Candlewick Press (August 7, 2018)
Pages: Hardcover 416
Ages: 10 - 14

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