Fall 2018 Kids Indie Next List
“I recognized myself in this book. Like Lowen, I've been an eleven-year-old grappling with guilt and grief. I've moved from a city to a small town and found a home. I know it's cheesy, but this book made me laugh, cry, and hug my child. I completely fell in love with Millville and The Dollar Kids, and I know everyone who reads this book will, too.”
— Sarah Krammen, Dragonfly Books, Decorah, IA
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.
About the Author
Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of several books for children and young adults, including the middle-grade novels Small as an Elephant and Paper Things, and the Andy Shane early chapter books, illustrated by Abby Carter. She lives in Maine.
Ryan Andrews is a comics artist and illustrator living in Fukuoka, Japan. Two of his web comics have been nominated for Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
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...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.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
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.
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...A rich, thoughtful exploration of individual and community resilience.