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Millions Paperback – July 26, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–When fourth-grader Damian finds a bag full of cash by the train tracks, he and his brother try to spend it fast. The bills are all pounds, and England is just a few weeks away from converting to the euro, so anything they don't use will, in their minds, soon be worthless. This happy predicament sets up some excellent comic situations, including rampant inflation at the school yard and some suspiciously materialistic Mormons. But a lot more is going on than money-related antics. Damian, obsessed with the lives of the saints and a bit muddled about the real world, narrates with endearing naïveté and unintended deadpan humor. Fifth-grader Anthony has an endless supply of schemes, contrasting with his brother's more charitable sensibilities. Though their mother's recent death is not described until later, the boys' sense of loss permeates the story, and their instant fortune subtly leads them to a point where they can finally face their grief. Damian's encyclopedic knowledge of saints is hilarious at times, but also reveals his touching need for faith and reassurance. Supporting characters, including their dad and a shrewd female fund-raiser, have distinct personalities. The imagined 1998 monetary changeover may be confusing to American kids, who might assume the event really occurred, but readers should grasp the resulting need to act with dispatch. There's plenty of excitement as the deadline approaches and the brothers' secret becomes known, but the humor, the strong family story, and Damian's narrative voice make this satisfying novel succeed on several levels.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Would a lot of money be an answer to your prayers? Damien, a young expert on patron saints, thinks so after he finds 229,370 pounds sterling in a bag thrown by robbers from a passing train. With only a few short weeks until Euro Day, the day the "Great British Pound" would be replaced by the euro, Damien and his older, fifth-grade brother begin spending like daft nutters. The schoolyard economics quickly change, and soon adults are looking for the source of the cash--not to stop the flow, but to get in on the action. Naturally, the thwarted robbers are looking for their loot. The characters and their sometimes comical antics are as original, quirky, and compelling as in Hilary McKay's Exiles books, but the mood here is tempered by the recent death of the boys' mother. The point of view is solidly Damien's as he struggles to cope with his grief, be good, and find an ethical use for the money. Visits from saints guide him, and his faith in goodness helps him and his family to heal. An engaging possibility for reading aloud. Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 650 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (July 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060733322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060733322
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When Brit Damian Cunningham talks about any topic, he likes to start with the patron saint of the story. His big brother, Anthony, is into money and investments, but Damian is fascinated by saints. As this story begins, the boys' mother has died. They've moved with their father into a new house and started attending a new school. Dad has instructed Damian to be excellent and he tries very hard to be good, partly because he's afraid his father will vanish, as his mother did, if he fails. To that end, he answers his teacher in class in such long-winded detail or is so "quiet" that his teacher is concerned.

Damian builds a hermitage, or retreat, of cardboard boxes down by the train tracks. There, he has visions of saints. When the saints talk to him, he always asks if they've seen his mother.

England is changing to a new money system, so people are exchanging their old notes for the new "Euros." The boys enjoy watching the trains carrying England's old money off to be destroyed. One night, Damian is in his hermitage, praying. The train thunders past. A bag with millions of the old-fashioned pound notes --- an unbelievable fortune! --- tumbles off the train, crashing into the hermitage. Damian believes it's a direct gift from God in sympathy for the death of his mother.

Damian and Anthony don't tell their father of their sudden wealth out of concern for taxes. They discuss all they can buy: sea monkeys, fancy bikes, cell phones, computer games, houses. They must spend their wealth in 17 days, because when the new money system goes into effect, their notes will be worthless. Life becomes more and more complicated when thieves and police enter the picture.

The brothers treat school kids to soft drinks, and then bribe them for favors.
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Format: Hardcover
I think I should begin this review by explaining to you that I'm not exactly an unbiased reader of this title. To be frank, the minute I heard the premise of this book I knew that I would love it. Author Frank Cottrell Boyce could have filled the pages of "Millions" with an unbroken stream of consciousness (appropriate for young readers, of course) and I STILL would have thought this book bloody marvelous. As it happens, "Millions" is well-written in spite of my unrepentant love. Sure it has its ups and downs and there is one plot element that doesn't make a lick of sense, but on the whole Boyce has come up with something truly smart and funny here. As its hero Damian would say, "Quality".

What would you do if you found 229,370 in cash? If it just came falling out of the sky and into your lap, what would you do? If you're like Damian, you've a moral dilemma on your hands. Do you give the money to the poor or do you dig wells in Africa? If you're Damian's older brother Anthony then you're trying to decide whether or invest in real estate or just buy a house upfront. This may all sound like idle speculation, but for Damian and Anthony it's a problem they have to face right now! You see, our story takes place mere days before England is just about to make the change from a pound based system to that of the new Euro. That means that the money that came flying at Damian in a duffle bag thrown from a train has to be spent as quickly as possible before it becomes worthless. Damian's goals tend to be goodhearted, partly because he's obsessed with saints and sainthood. Anthony, however, is more inclined to want to spend the pounds on making more dough. He's a businessman at heart.
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A Kid's Review on November 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Millions is a book about two brothers and their father that experience life with millions of money. Damian who is one of the brothers was the first to discover the money,who thought the money came from god but it really was a robber that threw it off the train after robbing the bank. Damian and Anthony(the other brother)try to decide how to spend the money, both brothers have differnet ideas on how they should spend it but in the end they tell their father and he decides what to do.

one of my favorite parts in the book Millions is when the boys are at school with all the money and they go out to recess and every kid is trying to sell them anything they had. This is one of my favorite parts in the book because i thought, to be in Damians or Anthonys position would be a lot of fun. Also i thought the way the auther explained this part of the story was very exciting. Another reason why this was my favorite part was bcause it made me think that was spending all that money on junk they diddn't need was the correct way to go? This part caught my attention and i wanted to be in the story and sell my old junk for a good price. Although there was many other interesting parts in the book Milions the part with the boys spending it at school was my top favorite.

i would recommend the book Millions to anyone who wants to read a book full of problem solving and finding solutions when your life could be at risk. Miilions is full of adventure and excitement and if you want to expeirence the thrill of feeling like you are in the story i would pick up this book and start reading! This book helped me in solving problems and trying to find conclusions to any sort of problem. With all the books i read Millions was one of the books i could not put down and stop reading. In conclusion i enjoyed Millions very much and i would recommend this book to anyone, it was fun to read and a great book to talk about and relate to.
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