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Millionsby Frank Cottrell Boyce
Nine-year-old Damian mourns his mother by stuffing holly under his shirt and sitting in a cardboard hermitage at the bottom of the garden. One night a bag full of soon-to-be-obsolete pound notes flies off a passing train and levels the hermitage. Impossible to describe in three short sentences, this is a hilarious, unputdownable, edge-of-your-pants read how about that?
Synopses & Reviews
It was a one-in-a-million chance. A bag crammed with cash comes tumbling out of the air and lands right at Damian's feet. Suddenly the Cunningham brothers are rich. Very rich. They can buy anything they want. There's just one problem — they have only seventeen days to spend all the money before it becomes worthless. And the crooks who stole the cash in the first place are closing in — fast.
A funny, brilliantly clever and utterly thrilling debut novel that is, quite simply, unforgettable.
"How would you spend a lot of money fast? That's the irresistible premise of this witty and poignant first novel by a British screenwriter. Damian and Anthony Cunningham have moved to a new neighborhood with their loving but overwhelmed father, following their mother's death. (A mention that their old house is still on the market because of 'what happened there' suggests suicide.) Anthony, a precocious fifth-grader plays on people's sympathy: 'Tell them your mum's dead and they give you stuff.' Damian, the beguiling fourth-grade narrator, is obsessed with saints and saintly behavior. He 'mortif[ies] his flesh' by placing holly leaves under his shirt, and constructs his own makeshift 'hermitage' near the railroad tracks. He's in this cardboard hideout when a bag containing more than a quarter-million pound notes drops from the sky. Damian believes it's from God. Anthony suspects otherwise but embarks on a spending spree fueled by a deadline — the pounds will be worthless in 17 days, when England converts its monetary system to the Euro. Boyce gracefully weaves in many thought-provoking episodes. Anthony learns about inflation when he overpays for favors and toys at school. Damian follows St. Francis of Assisi's example by buying and setting free a pet store's worth of birds. The ending is sure to spark heated debate, as Damian comes to terms with the ubiquity of poverty and the dark side of human nature. The story starts slowly, but readers who stick with it will be racing to the finish to figure out who's conning whom. Brilliant. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A joy for readers of all ages." Kirkus Reviews
"Stunningly original?the concept is immediately booktalkable and telling is riveting; a book of such wealth — of any kind — is valuable indeed." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (Starred Review)
"Written with charm and humor, this is a touching, absorbing oddity of a book about love, grief, avarice and generosity." London Sunday Times
"Boyce's first novel has all the classic ingredients to delight children, but adds the anguish of bereavement to its irresistible comic adventure....Millions is fresh, funny, touching and wise in its portrayal of hope and human frailty." The Times (London)
After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it.
About the Author
Frank Cottrell Boyce is a screenwriter whose films include Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie and 24 Hour Party People. Millions is his first book. He is not a millionaire and has no plans to rob a bank. However, during a short-lived career as an assistant at a puppet show, he earned a fortune entirely in small change. He believes this is how he first became interested in the problems created by user-unfriendly cash. Mr. Boyce lives in Liverpool, England, with his wife and family of seven children.
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