Millions

Millions

by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060733322
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/26/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 499,287
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Frank Cottrell Boyce is the author of Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth, The Astounding Broccoli Boy, 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.

Read an Excerpt

Millions

Chapter One

If Anthony was telling this story, he'd start with the money. It always comes down to money, he says, so you might as well start there. He'd probably put, "Once upon a time there were 229,370 little pounds sterling," and go on till he got to, "and they all lived happily ever after in a high-interest bank account." But he's not telling this story. I am. Personally, I like to start with the patron saint of whatever it is. For instance, when we had to write about moving house for Literacy Hour, I put:

Moving House

by Damian Cunningham,
Fourth Grade

We have just moved house to 7 Cromarty Close. The patron saint of moving house is St. Anne (first century). She was the Mother of Our Lady. Our Lady did not die but floated up into Heaven while still fairly young. St. Anne was upset. To cheer her up, four angels picked up her house and took it to the seaside in Italy, where it can be seen to this day. You can pray to St. Anne for help with moving house. She will watch over you, but not do actual removals. Anne is also the patron saint of miners, horse-riding, cabinetmakers andthe city of Norwich. While alive, she performed many wonders.

The patron saint of this story is St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226), because it all sort of started with a robbery and the first saintish thing he ever did was a robbery. He stole some cloth from his father and gave it to the poor. There is a patron saint of actual robbers -- Dismas (first century) -- but I'm not an actual robber. I was only trying to be good.

It was our first day at Great Ditton Primary School. The sign outside says, "Great Ditton Primary -- Creating Excellence for a New Community."

"See that?" said Dad as he handed us our lunches and left us at the gates. "Good isn't good enough here. Excellence, that's what they're after. My instruction for the day is, 'Be excellent.' The instructions for supper I'll leave on the fridge door."

One thing about me is that I always really try to do whatever Dad tells me. It's not that I think he'll go off and leave us if we're a problem, but why take that risk? So I was excellent first lesson. Mr. Quinn was doing "People We Admire" for Art Hour. A huge boy with a freckly neck nominated Sir Alex Ferguson and listed all the football trophies United had won under his stewardship. A boy called Jake said players were more important than managers and nominated Wayne Rooney for individual flair. Mr. Quinn was looking around the room. To be educational about it, football was not taking him where he wanted to go. I put my hand up. He asked a girl.

"Don't know any footballers, sir."

"It doesn't have to be a footballer."

"Oh. Don't know, then, sir."

I used my other hand to hoist my hand up higher.

"Damian, who do you admire?"

By now, most of the others were into players versus managers.

I said, "St. Roch, sir."

The others stopped talking.

"Who does he play for?"

"No one, sir. He's a saint."

The others went back to football.

"He caught the plague and hid in the woods so he wouldn't infect anyone, and a dog came and fed him every day. Then he started to do miraculous cures and people came to see him -- hundreds of people -- in his hut in the woods. He was so worried about saying the wrong thing to someone that he didn't say a word for the last ten years of his life."

"We could do with a few like him in this class. Thank you, Damian."

"He's the patron saint of plague, cholera and skin complaints. While alive, he performed many wonders."

"Well, you learn something new."

He was looking for someone else now, but I was enjoying being excellent. Catherine of Alexandria (4th century) came to mind. "They wanted her to marry a king, but she said she was married to Christ. So they tried to crush her on a big wooden wheel, but it shattered into a thousand splinters -- huge sharp splinters -- which flew into the crowd, killing and blinding many bystanders."

"That's a bit harsh. Collateral damage, eh? Well, thank you, Damian."

By now everyone had stopped debating players versus managers. They were all listening to me.

"After that they chopped her head off. Which did kill her, but instead of blood, milk came spurting out of her neck. That was one of her wonders."

"Thank you, Damian."

"She's the patron saint of nurses, fireworks, wheel-makers and the town of Dunstable (Bedfordshire). The Catherine wheel is named after her. She's a virgin martyr. There are other great virgin martyrs. For instance, St. Sexburga of Ely (670–700)."

Everyone started laughing. Everyone always laughs at that name. They probably laughed at it in 670–700 too.

"Sexburga was Queen of Kent. She had four sisters, who all became saints. They were called -- "

Before I could say Ethelburga and Withburga, Mr. Quinn said, "Damian, I did say thank you."

He actually said thank you three times. If that doesn't make me excellent, I don't know what does.

I was also an artistic inspiration, as nearly all the boys painted pictures of the collateral damage at the execution of St. Catherine. There were a lot of fatal flying splinters and milk spurting out of necks. Jake painted Wayne Rooney, but he was the only one.

Millions. Copyright © by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

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Millions 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
yellowoasis on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I had seen this book with its striking gold cover in the shops. When it was reviewed by Kate di Goldi I knew I had to read it.Two Irish brothers who have recently lost their mother come into the possession of a bag of cash destined for destruction on the eve of Ireland switching to the Euro. The money causes more problems than it solves e.g. inflation at school, the younger brother trying to do good deeds with the money etc. The secondary story of the brothers, particularly younger Damian, coping with the loss of their mother is handled gently. Damian has become obsessed with saints, and often sees visions of them, usually in the most humorous of circumstances. Eventually the father finds out about the cash and plans to give it back ¿ but following a burglary by the robbers who stole the cash in the first place, he decides to keep it. Unfortunately nothing in life is that simple, and another series of unfortunate events arises. At the end, the money is gone (apart from a small amount, and even that is given to charity). This is a hugely funny, tender and rollicking story about what happens when money comes suddenly. It is a morality tale too. Add in a bit of magic realism, and you have a cracker of a story just busting to be made into a Christmas special by the BBC. [Update: actually it was made into a feature film, which was very enjoyable.]
MeditationesMartini on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This delightful book was both the first kids' story I've read that successfully and naturally integrated "our modern world" - internet and Harry Potter ringtones and that - without it seeming gimmicky, and, more impressive and significant, the first that integrated a Christian element without it being detrimental or preachy. All those Victorians could learn something. I also love the way the kid talks, even if he does say "unenlightening" a few too many times by the twisty end.
jnogal on LibraryThing 7 days ago
I thought it was good, but what age is the intended audience? If it's for kids about 4th-6th grade, like the boys in the book, then I don't think they're going to understand about the British pound and the euro. Only some kids are going to understand or warm up to the idea of the main character, 4th-grader Damian, knowing all about the saints, and having conversations with visions of saints. I'd say it's a good story, but a bit too British and maybe even religious for most American kids.
likewaterfordcrystal on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Gorgeous book that teaches youngsters that some things in life cannot be purchased with money and that money does not solve all problems.
CatheOlson on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Middle-grade novel about a boy Damian who finds a bag full of cash--the catch is that it will only be worth anything for a few more days because England is switching to the Euro. The ways he and his older brother Anthony spend the money is quite funny, but the book also has suspense and sadness. My only criticism is that at times Damian seems a bit too dumb/naive, but really this is a great book. I'm passing it right on to my daughter.
dfullmer on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is a great book about a young english boy whose mother passed away. He is obsessed with the Catholic saints and spends most of his free time trying to "be excellent". He finds a huge bag of money and thinks that it was a gift from God. He and his brother proceed to spend the money and hilarity ensues as they find that it's not as much of a gift as they once thought.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Fourth grader Damian might not be the smartest boy in school, but there are two things he knows for sure. Firstly, he knows everything about saints. Secondly, he knows that if he ever wants something, all he has to do is remind people that his mum is dead and he will be given something. When a bag full of money falls out of the sky three weeks before England's switchover to the Euro, Damian thinks the money must have come from God. He tries to think of a saintly way to spend it, however big brother Antony has other ideas. What follows is a rip-roaring spending spree interspersed with hilarious and touching moments. The audio recording of this book was fantastic and I would highly recommend it for family listening. Although we have it in the teen section at my library, I see no reason it would be inappropriate for younger readers (although the concept of British pounds and switching over to the Euro might require some explaining).
Rachelthescrumplet on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This was a pretty weird book, beacause the little boy was, like, obsessed with saints, and he trusted strange people that he had never met before.
pjacx on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A lovely book worth reading just for the scenes in which the saints appear. Funny and a little sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Millions was a very interesting book to me. In the first couple of sentences, I felt completely LOST. Honestly. It really did not good have a good introduction. This book is about two brothers named Damian and Anthony Cunningham. They find a bag full of money. They do not know what to do with the money and they could not tell dad about the money. The crooks were wanting that money in that bag. I felt that Damian Cunningham did some good things and bad things. He tried to do be good in school{nice} and he asked everybody if they were poor and wanted money{bad}. In the end he turned out to be a amazing character. You will like this book if you like money, action scenes, and christian faith. I liked this book because it had interesing characters and a awesome plot and ending.
liketoread92 More than 1 year ago
This is a warm and witty story about two brothers who stumble on a ton of money. The movie also is excellent. But read the book first. It has a gentle, candid and provocative spiritual spine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Millions is about a boy named Damian who believes a bag of money that drops from the sky onto his playhouse came from God. He wants to give it to the poor, but his brother Anthony wants to invest it in real estate. The boys' mother has recently died, and they and their father are adjusting to life without her. Millions blends humor, mystery, adventure and heart-warming moments all into one beautiful little book. And the movie is a wonderful adaptation, probably in no small part because Frank Cottrell Boyce was the author of both. There's laughter and tears and profound wisdom innocently spouted from the mouth of a young boy. I read this as part of my mother-daughter book club, and our blended book/movie talk was a nice break from our regular routine. School Library Journal recommends it for 4th - 8th grade, but I think it's a story that you can love even if you're 100 years old.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The bag had thousands of bills. Millions of bills even. Damian, a mother-less child, hasn¿t even heard of so much money. But the bag at his feet had at least that. Damian immediately shows his brother, Anthony, who is equally amazed. Damian believes this is a miracle. Their first thought is to spend it all before pound day, a holiday when all English pounds turn into Euros, or invest it. Another miracle, a vision of St. Frances changes Damian¿s mind. The vision tells Damian to give the money to the poor, which Damian does but not the right poor. He gives some to the Later Day Saints thinking that they will give it to the poor, but they just spend it on themselves. Meanwhile Anthony is stretching the truth a lot trying to protect their money, one lie too many. The truth slips that they have tons of money and in no time their house is surrounded beggars. Is the money evil? Find out in this strongly recommended book. I like this book a lot because of the character Anthony. Anthony is a tad greedy, a tad a liar, but besides that he is Damian¿s ever-loyal brother. In the part where Damian gets in a tight spot with the school for lending them so much money, Anthony helps him out. Anthony is a handy guy to have around in a bad situation because he usually gets out of it by saying `My mom is dead¿ or, of course, lying. The way the author projects that money isn¿t all good is put well. In the story, Damian gets so sick of seeing the money that he burns half of it by the railroad tracks by his house. The rest of the money seems to drive everyone to sin, and since Damian is very concerned, he burns the rest of it two. Was what Damian did right? The author leaves it to the reader to choose. I like the way that Saints help out Damian. Throughout the story, four Biblical Saints help Damian on his quest on what do with the money. The four Saints are: St. Elise, St. Francis, St. Peter and St. Joseph. They all help Damian in various ways, for example St. Joseph helps Damian with the nativity play. The reason I strongly recommend this book is because of the moral though. The moral of the story is `money, you can¿t live with it, but you cannot live without it.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
Did anybody actually read the book? And if you are not Catholic. Then yea you can't understand the book. Like the stories about the saints and Jesus
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really didn't like this book. I didn't understand it at all. Then i watched the movie thinking it would help clear up the book. It didn't it was just as bad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it stunk i mean it had no point . it just went on and on. jus a neverending revalution of ongoing insanity. i wish they had a 0 star button.dont waste your money
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was such a disappointment! I got it from my mother when she was back from shopping. I was so eager to read new books, including anything that sounded so shocking and stunning as this book; but I was decieved. The book had nothing of the structure that I adore, and I had to drag myself to the end. It was okay, but I wouldn't recommend it to my friends. Something you should get from the library, I suppose. Not only that, but they kept including Saints and Preachers and such from a religion; now, I don't mind, but it dragged the story on sooooo much it is ridiculous!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a person that loves read adveturous books with a lot of exciting details, you'll probably love the book called 'Millions' by Frank Cottrell Boyce. The one main character in this story,is Damian Cunningham. This story is about two brothers that find a black duffle bag filled with millions of dollars. The main chacter,Damian, and his brother now have a lot of money, and are now spending it left and right. The only problem in this exciting novel is that the brothers have only seventeen days before all of the money becomes worthless. Also, the theives who originally stole the money are moving in quickly. This author caught my attention many times, but mostly for including so much exciting and realistic details from our everyday life. Also, some of the things that the two brothers buy with there money are things that kids ,like me, would have today in our room for example an Air Zooka. An Air Zooka shoots a puff of air from a distance. This book does not state when and where it takes place. This book is different from other books with the same genre because of its use of different variety of realistic and exciting new details. If your a person that doesn't like to read boring, plain, and the same old sorties over again, then read this adveturoud, action packed, clever, and unforgettable story, Millions.