Monday, June 1, 2020

The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

 Children, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing

I loved this book. However, my loving this book doesn’t mean my students will. All my recommending won’t make them love it unless they can connect to it in some way. The same thing is true for adults. This is one of those books I think everyone, young and old can connect to.  A few years ago I had a student write in his journal, “Most teachers don’t understand how hard life can be. I go to bed every night wondering if a stray bullet will come through my house and kill one of us. I go to bed every night wondering if I will still have my friends when I wake up.”

That student like so many of my other students will find many things to connect with in this book. After Lowen’s friend is shot and killed Lowen goes through a period where he can’t seem to draw his comics anymore. He is going through both guilt and grief. When his parents learn of a lottery to buy a house for a dollar in an old mill town they enter and win. There are some things they must do though. They not only have to fix up the house but they have to start a business.

 While Lowen’s dad stays in Flintlock to work, his mom starts a business called Cornish Eatery. Things still are not going smooth. Like a lot of small towns, not everyone is welcoming. Some people will do anything they can to keep others from being successful.  Unless people of the town realize how much they need this new life their own livelihood will disappear. This story looks at how everyone has to change to survive. It looks at learning to move on through any situation. It is all about second chances. I wish I’d had this book back when I had this student. Maybe he would have found a way through this book to deal with what he had to deal with.  I whole heartedly recommend this book.

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