Author: Jacobson, Jennifer
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?
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 197783
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 76491
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (08/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2018 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 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2018 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. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.