Millions by Frank Cottrell-Boyce


Our children’s book of the month for November is Millions by Frank Cottrell-Boyce. Just how would you spend thousands of pounds?

Millions – the blurb

Brothers Damian and Anthony didn’t mean to get caught up in a botched train robbery. But what would you do if a massive bag of cash dropped from the sky and you had only a few days to spend it before it became worthless? Buy a million pizzas? End world poverty? Not such an easy decision, is it? The boys soon find out that being rich is a mug’s game. Not only is the clock ticking, the bank robbers want their money back . . .

Not actually millions

The first thing I had pointed out to me was that it wasn’t actually millions the two brothers, Damian and Anthony had to spend. Ok so it was less than that but it was still a LOT of money and it had to be spent before the pound became the euro and thus the bag of money became worthless. In amongst all the Brexit madness the children were slightly confused about talk of changing to the euro. We therefore looked into the background of the euro and found out which countries changed currencies. Lira anyone? We also touched on the great train robbery of 1963 and the fact the book is a film.

What to buy?

The children were very excited when reading the start of the book shouting out items they would buy as though they were writing Christmas lists. We made two shopping lists in the end. One right at the start of the book including ‘Phones, XBoxes, Holidays to Florida,’ and then another list half way through the book when it became apparent children can’t just buy anything they want and it might be a good idea to do some good. ‘The Food Bank is asking for donations because it’s nearly Christmas’ became a more heart warming suggestion.

Oh when the saints

We also looked into saints as they are pretty prevelant in the book. We researched in to different ones and decided we quite liked ‘local lad’ Bede and Honore the patron saint of cake! Millions is certainly a book that offers a lot of extra activities (always useful in Book Club).

How many euros?

The book has a very strong moral tale, likeable characters and an element of fun with the inescapable ‘what would you do?’ question. The children all seemed to like it, girls and boys alike and we awarded it 3 out of 5 euros.

Book Club Questions

  • What would you spend a million pounds on? How would this change if you were an adult?
  • Do some research and tell us who your favourite Saint is. If you could be a saint, what would it be for?
  • Can you find out which countries changed to the euro and what currency they used before? Have a go at designing your own currency. What would it be called? What would be on the notes/coins?
  • Damian is keen to give the money away to charity but struggles when he realises he cant help everyone. Most people try to find a cause that is important to them and stick with that when they try to raise money. Why don’t you try to find a cause you like and have a go at raising moeny for it? A sponsored walk for an animal charity perhaps? A baked bean bath for Children in Need? Be sure to tell us all about it.
  • The book looks at what would happen if England stopped using the pound and started to use the euro instead. Can you think of an event you could use as a basis for a story? What would have happened IF England had won the World Cup in 2018? IF the Titanic had never sank? IF The Great Fire of London had kept on burning?
  • If you could pay anyone to do your homework what homework would it be and why?

Join us in December for our new Christmas themed book of the month Bah Humbug by Michael Rosen. Or if you can’t wait until then have a look at our previous Book of the Month, Pax.