Thank you Jennifer Richard Jacobson for stopping by Kid Lit Frenzy and talking about your hybrid middle grade book, The Dollar Kids, coming in 2018 and sharing the fabulous cover.
Love the Cover!
The cover for The Dollar Kids makes me swoon. Lowen’s family, as well as four other families, relocate to a former-mill town to purchase a foreclosed home for a dollar. When I share this premise with school kids, their eyes light up. Imagine buying a home for a single dollar bill! Of course, nothing is as easy as it sounds.
Comic book artist and illustrator Ryan Andrews captures this uphill battle beautifully! The mill houses are truly dilapidated, the requirement (that the houses be renovated within a year) steep. Shadows loom. As the Dollar Kids and the Millville kids live side-by-side, misunderstandings ensue. So do friendships. I love that Ryan was able to capture a feeling of opposition in black and white tones splashed with red.
The lettering has a distinct comic book feel. That’s intentional. In addition to having to move to a new and puzzling town, Lowen is grieving the loss of his young friend. An aspiring artist himself, Lowen processes his grief through comics. Ryan not only created the cover for The Dollar Kids, he drew all of the interior comic art. In fact, the story itself begins with a series of comic strips. For me this cover captures everything wonderful about this collaboration.
About the author and illustrator:
Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of several books for children and young adults, including the middle-grade novels Small as an Elephant and Paper Things, and the Andy Shane early chapter books, illustrated by Abby Carter. She lives in Maine.
Ryan Andrews is a comics artist and illustrator living in Fukuoka, Japan. Two of his web comics have been nominated for Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
And now here is the cover...
The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson; Illustrated by Ryan Andrews (Candlewick Press, Spring 2018)
About the book:
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?
Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from Flintlock and all of the awful memories associated with the city, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. Fortunately, his family is willing to give it a try. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Will Millville and the dollar house be the answer to the Grovers’ troubles? Or will they find they’ve traded one set of problems for another? From the author of Small as an Elephant and Paper Things comes a heart-tugging novel about guilt and grief, family and friendship, and, above all, community.