Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

How I Heard About It:  This upcoming novel came to me via the publisher.  I had just been to a session by Jennifer Richard Jacobson at #NerdCampMI so it was especially fun to receive this book in the mail.  

What It Is About:  Lowen is dealing with a major loss in his life.  Or maybe he isn't dealing with the loss.  He sees an add in the newspaper about a mill town that is selling several homes for a dollar each.  The town is struggling and they are trying to bring more people in to spark their businesses and schools.  Lowen wants to escape his town to get away from the horrible memories.  He also thinks the move will be a chance for his mother to open the business of her dreams.  He is quite surprised when all family members agree to the move.  Well, all but one!  When the family is one of five to win the lottery on these homes, Lowen is thrilled to start a new life.  He learns it isn't easy to "run away" from terrible memories.  Lowen's older brother finds his niche with the athletes in town.  His sister even ends up happy with a new venture of her own and friends.  Lowen tries to find his spot.  He gets to know some of the other "dollar kids".  They have some things in common while also sharing many differences.  His family struggles with the "new" home, the business, and fitting into the mill town.  Through it all, they depend on each other to make this transition a success.  

What I Thought Of It:  I had not read any of Jennifer's earlier works of fiction, so I was looking forward to reading her newest book.  It was especially fun since I just heard her speak in Jackson, Michigan during #NerdCampMI.  The premise of the story was unique, fresh, and special.  I enjoyed reading about Lowen's family.  They each had such an important and necessary part in the story.  It was wonderful to read about a family that relies and supports each other through both the good and difficult times.  The author was able to take a variety of themes, concepts, and ideas and blend them into a rich and satisfying story.  

Who Should Read It:  The book is a bit long at about 400 pages.  Because of this, I think readers should be in grades four, five, or six.  Middle-school readers would also be a great audience for the book.  I look forward to book talking this new novel with my fourth graders.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars!

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