Young cartoon artist Lowen Grover 's best friend, Abe, was killed in a shooting. Lowen carries the grief and the burden of guilt that he was responsible for Abe being in the wrong place. His family stumbles upon an opportunity to buy a rundown house in a dying mill town for exactly one dollar. This is a chance to leave sadness behind and start over. The dollar house project involves bringing in select, diverse families to revitalize the town. Unfortunately, all the citizens aren't on board and the house is proving to be one challenge after another.
The Dollar Kids is also brilliantly interspersed with some of Lowen's cartoons depicting his take on Abe's death as he tackles his grief. Jacobson provides an examination of poverty, pride of place, resolve and determination, while being a sympathetic and engrossing read.
The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Ryan Andrews (Illustrator) ($17.99*, Candlewick Press), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.