Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Dollar Kids

I have been a fan of Jennifer Richard Jacobson for several years.  Small as an Elephant was the first book I reviewed for MSBA before I was even on the committee.  I love the Maine connections and the storytelling.

This book is primarily about Lowen.  Lowen had a friend Abe who was killed in a grocery store incident with a gun.  Lowen feels partially responsible.  Much of the story is Lowen coming to terms with what happened and using his artistic talents to work through his emotions.

In addition there are the dollar kids.  In a small, former mill town, several houses are sold for a dollar with the understanding that the families will renovate them and also bring businesses to the failing town.  Lowen's family is one of the families that moves in.  But not everyone in town is happy to see them and some go out of their way to make things difficult.  Can Lowen's family make their dollar home livable?

This book clocks in at 416 pages.  In my opinion that is really long for the intended audience.  I can rarely get my students to take out books that are that long.  In a way I think there was too much going on and it could have been 2 different stories.  I did like it and the way it came together at the end but...

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