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. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“A joy for readers of all ages.” Kirkus Reviews
“Sheer fun. Seek out this gold-standard novel as a possible gift for lottery-winner hopefuls of all ages.” Time Out New York
“Stunningly original…the concept is immediately booktalkable and the telling is riveting; a book of such wealthof any kindis valuable indeed.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children & #8217;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
“Sweet, fast-paced, and funny.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Now in paperback an acclaimed and brilliant debut that tells the story of two young boys who suddenly find themselves with a huge amount of money and only have seven days to spend it before it becomes worthless.
About the Author
Frank Cottrell Boyce is the author of Cosmic, Framed, and Millions, the last of which was a New York Times bestseller and was made into a movie by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. His books have won or been nominated for numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and the Whitbread Children's Book Award. Frank is also a screenwriter, having penned the scripts for a number of feature films as well as the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. He lives in Liverpool with his family.