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The Dollar Kids: 03/06/20
The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson begins with the shooting death of a best friend, told through the panels of a comic the two teens had been working on. It then moves to prose and becomes the story of a family winning the chance to move into a home of their own for a dollar. It's in a small, failing town, and along with fixing up the house, they also have to start a business in the town.
Besides Lowen Grover's family, there are other families also brought on board for this dollar house scheme. There's a lottery to see which family gets which house. The Grovers, having arrived late, don't have time to check out the houses in person but end up with what on papers looks like the best: it's the largest. But it's also next to a funeral home.
The bulk of the book, though, is a slow burn. It's detailed and in depth. If you're completely invested in the characters it will probably go quickly. For me, it did not. I found myself needing to power through the middle as there was just too many mundane details to focus on.
The book, does, however, sit on the road narrative spectrum. The travelers are the families (33) who have bought these dollar homes. The destination for all of them is a new (albeit run down, moldy, and in need of serious repair) home (66). The route there is the Blue Highway (33) as the town is one of the smaller, older, and probably bypassed by the interstate system, towns. Altogether, this is a novel about families hoping to find their homes after a journey along the Blue Highway (336633)