by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Frank Cottrell Boyce has written a funny and tender story of a ten-year-old boy who... read more

Frank Cottrell Boyce has written a funny and tender story of a ten-year-old boy who faces the unlikely and extraordinarily daunting task of having to spend 229,370 British pounds in 17 days after that time Britain will convert to the Euro and the money will be worthless. Damian was quietly grieving his mother’s recent death when the money fell—literally—from the sky. Fascinated with saints (he is sure his mother will soon be among them), Damian doesn’t have to try hard to believe that the money is a gift from God, but he’s determined to spend it on good deeds. His older brother, Anthony, takes a much more pragmatic view of things; he wants to get their financial house in order, and real estate is on his mind. Boyce has crafted an intricate, twist-and-turn tale that is firmly rooted in possibility—there is a logical explanation for the money’s sudden appearance—even as it takes readers on a remarkable journey that involves one leap of faith after another. Damian’s conversations with various saints (from St. Joseph to St. Catherine, not to mention the Latter Day Saints who live down the road) are as casual—and in many ways more comfortable—than the discussions he has with his dad, who is trying so very hard to hold it all together in the wake of his wife’s death. As the boys labor to spend the money (an uphill struggle for minors, they discover), they draw closer to understanding their personal loss as well as their family’s strength for the future. A splendid combination of comedy and insight, Millions holds high appeal for a wide audience of readers. (Ages 9–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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