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The Dollar Kids

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  120 reviews
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 no
...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Candlewick Press
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LeeAnn It's not either, in my opinion. The illustrations only show the comic strips/ideas the main character Lowen draws as he works out his grief and guilt…moreIt's not either, in my opinion. The illustrations only show the comic strips/ideas the main character Lowen draws as he works out his grief and guilt over the death of a young neighbor.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  120 reviews


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Diabolica
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: too-real
I absolutely loved this.

Lowen is like most kids, except for his penchant for drawing. And feeling guilty for having sent his friend off to his death, callously put.

In an attempt to restart their lives, the Groover family move to Millville and buy a house for a dollar. As long as you don't notice the zeros trailing after the 1 written in invisible ink. Because guess what?

The houses were an absolute wreck. Mold, collapsing ceilings, broken windows, rotting wood and any other misfortune you coul
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Fizah(Books tales by me)
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read, netgalley
Lowen Grover, 12 years old, who feels responsible for Abe’s death, When found about one dollar house, it seems like his only escape to his memories of Abe. His life is in the struggle he even not drawing anymore because it reminds him of Abe.

His family supports him and got a house in Millville for one dollar. The story and people are so realistic, the struggle is real, how difficult it is to move in a town where you are stranger for everyone and people are unwelcoming.

Characters were diverse and
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Lesley
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cried because there were sad events and frustrating events, and I cried because there were happy and poignant occasions. But I also cried because the book came to an end, and, even though author Jennifer Richard Jacobson gave us a hint into the future, I didn’t want to leave Millville and its inhabitants, both old and new, especially the Dollar Kids.

I don’t know if today’s children of all ages face more challenges than those who came before them or whether, through reading, my eyes have been o
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Laura
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
How do you get over a death that you feel responsible for? In this book, Lowen, who is a budding cartoonist, feels that he is responsible for the death of Abe, a very pesky younger kid that wants to be his friend, as well as a cartoonist as well. He sends him off to get candy, and while he is at the shop, he is killed in a random shooting.

So, when he comes across a town that is giving away houses for a dollar, he persuades his parents to go for it, and thus he becomes one of the dollar kids, and
...more
Jessica
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really loved this, and how it was sort of realistic yet fairy tale like at the same time. The pacing was mostly perfect, with setbacks and triumphs spaced just so, very carefully plotted, and then . . . the end just happened. Like, boom, after all that. It was the perfect ending and so I felt cheated because the whole book was gearing up for like, one page?! And some of it was just too tidy.
Carolina  (fictionologyst)
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover is a passionate comic artist, at least he was, until his only friend Abe who's usually there when he was drawing and criticizing him, died in a random shooting. After that, Lowen barely draw anymore because it's always reminding him of Abe. Haunted by guilt and grief, all Lowen need is to escape the town he lived in. So when he saw the advertising of one dollar house in a former mill town, it seems like a perfect escape. He proposes the idea to his parents and siblin ...more
Laurie
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interest Level: 5-8

Have you ever had a tragedy in your life, one perhaps that you feel responsible for?Lowen Grover is eleven-years-olds and loves nothing more than to draw, except when his younger neighbor friend bugs him to continue to change his drawings. One day he was getting on Lowen's nerves so he sent him to the corner store to get candy just so that he can have a few minutes of peace. Lowen had no idea that at that exact time a young teenager fed up with life would go on a shooting spre
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Patrick
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good story about regaining your life after a tragic event you hold yourself responsible for. A bit long, but solid novel of a boy,his family, and their dollar house.
Angie
Lowen and his family apply to buy a house in Millville for $1. They are ready to move out of the city because Lowen's friend was recently killed in a shooting. When the family is accepted to the dollar program they are not all excited to move, but life in small town Millville quickly grows on the kids.

Millville needs more people. When the mill shut down a lot of people and businesses moved out. So the dollar families are selected because of their children and their skills. The kids are expected
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Debbie Smith
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
#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. Th
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Ms. Yingling
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Netgalley

Lowen Grover and his family have a decent life in the city, but after his best friend is shot at a convenience store along with three other children, the off from a small town to buy a house for a dollar has a lot of appeal. Millville is struggling with the closing of its paper mills a while ago, and the town needs more families with children in order to keep the schools going. The Grovers have careers the town wants (the mother wants to open a pasty take out shop, and the fa
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Alyssa Nelson
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.*

The Dollar Kids starts off strong, with the first scene happening in comic-book format; the main character’s friend is shot during a trip to the corner store. It was a bit abrupt for me, and I was worried about how dark the book was going to be overall, but I shouldn’t have worried at all, because while this provides the backdrop for everything that follows
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Laura Gardner
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson (@jrjacobson) with illustrations by Ryan Andrews. Thanks to @candlewickpress and @kidlitexchange for this early review copy; this book releases in August! All opinions are my own.
~*~*~*~*~*
Lowen Grover and his family are trying to start over after the shooting death of his best friend. When they find out about a Dollar Program, which offers houses for $1 in a run down, rural town, the family jumps at the chance. They're excited when they g
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Amy
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the book Paper Things, so when I got an opportunity to read an ARC of Jennifer Richard Jacobson's new novel, The Dollar Kids, I jumped at the chance. There were many themes from Paper Things that also played out in The Dollar Kids, and that pleased me. The themes of poverty, family connections, and perseverance throughout hardship were definitely prevalent in this novel. I loved seeing Millville through the eyes of Lowen and the other "Dollar Kids." A struggling town trying to rebuild it ...more
Amanda
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
The Dollar Kids impressed me beyond what middle grade novels do these days, the subject matter is difficult at times but the author couldn’t have been more sensitive and conscientious about what she was writing and truly her writing was beautifully impressive and strong I loved that! I also felt she truly captured the way children think and feel and how the process of guilt, healing and grieving can be is important for kids to understand and it was written in a delicate, relatable and truly beau ...more
Kristen
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoy Jennifer Richard Jacobson's middle grade stuff--both Small as an Elephant and Paper Things are among my go-to recommendations for realistic middle grade fiction.

And while I enjoyed the story in this one, as well (families are allowed to purchase houses for $1 in an effort to jump-start a dying town), it suffered to some extent from pacing issues. Some chapters take place a month later, some later the same da
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Amy
Oct 19, 2017 added it
Shelves: candlewick
Candlewick described this book as a boy who turns back to comics to heal from the guilt of a brother's death and the challenges of getting a fresh start in a new town.

Eeeek, these titles from Candlewick are all deliciously dark this season. I wonder if election panic influenced these acquisition decisions?
Gigi
A unique story about fitting in and the difficulties starting over. Great for middle grades.
Sharon Tyler
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The Dollar Kids is a middle grade novel written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, with illustrations by Ryan Andrews. It is currently scheduled for release on August 7 2018. 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, ...more
Laura Petrie
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.--- “Did one person’s fortunate always have to come at the expense of someone else?” The Dollar Kids opens with a scene that could be described as familiar and relatable for anyone who grew up with “annoying” younger siblings and neighbors: Loewen Grover tries to enjoy a free moment working on his comics and sketches, but his younger friend and neighbor, Abe, will not stop bothering him with questi ...more
Shari
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is a heartfelt and unique story. Following the traumatic death of his friend, Lowen Grover encourages his family to leave their urban life and apartment to live in small town Millville, where they are selling several homes for one dollar each in order to bring people into their dying town. The caveat being that the families have to do all necessary repairs on the home. The struggles the families face were realistic and reflected the viewpoint of both ...more
J.L. Slipak
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 opportunit
...more
Kelsey Buckley
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hidden gem. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one!

Lowen feels responsible for his friend's death after he sends his friend on an errand and his friend is murdered. After he sees an ad for $1 homes, he persuades his family to apply in hopes that this would give them a new start. They are accepted and move to the struggling small town under the conditions that they fix the run-down house in one year. Things are more difficult than they imagined though. His mom starts a new restaurant busi
...more
Kip
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it

Thank you to @kidlitexchange, the author and the publisher for this advance copy of The Dollar Kids. All opinions are my own.

Eleven year old Lowen has a secret - a huge secret that at times feels like it is a “venomous snake quivering inside him, ready to spring at any moment”. It’s a secret he’s never shared with another living soul. It’s a secret about his 9 year old neighbor, Abe. It’s because of Lowen that his neighbor is dead.

Since he was three years old, Lowen has been drawing; He drew eve
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Gmr
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked how this story was tackled and not only the issues of the financial security, but also the even more personal side of things that each family was dealing with. We have the ones who moved from Hawaii to start a better life, the female couple wanting to settle their children into small town life for the community it brings, and at the center of it all, the Grover's, though they'd love to be anywhere but in the center of things. The family is making a go of it not simply to find a be ...more
Shaney
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved everything about this book. I’ve been on a middle grade book kick (gotta full my classroom library with some good shit) and this has been my favorite for sure.
Ziyana
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
good book!
Abbie
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read my review at Bookish Adventures.
Jaina Rose
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
This review and many more like it are available on Read Till Dawn .

This is the second book by Jacobson that I've read; the first was Small As An Elephant, which I found to be sad and meaningful but in a way that was pretty generic and forgettable. I saw some promise in it, though, so when I was offered the chance to read The Dollar Kids I decided to give it a go.

And I'm very glad I did, because it hits all the right notes this time. There's sadness as Lowen struggles to cope with Abe's violent
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Jennifer Richard Jacobson has written many books for young readers, including stories about Andy Shane. She lives in Yarmouth, Maine.