My daughter, Madeleine, and I decided to try something different the last time we picked a book for her mother daughter book club. We chose to read Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce, which is also available to watch as a movie.
The girls are all in high school, and it’s sometimes a challenge for them to read books for pleasure, because they have so much reading homework for their classes. We thought they would look forward to watching a movie together and if one or two girls hadn’t found time to read the book they could still participate in the conversation.
We moved our meeting night to Sunday evening so we could gather earlier than usual and spend more time together. After dinner we settled in to have dessert and watch the movie, and when it was over we were able to talk about ways the book and the movie were different. We talked about changes we liked or disliked, and how the pictures of the characters we formed in our minds while reading lived up to the characters on screen.
If you’re not familiar with the story, 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 adaption, probably in no small part because Boyce was the author of both.
Our blended book/movie talk was a nice break from our regular routine, and Millions was a good choice for both reading and watching. School Library Journal recommends it for 4th—8th grade, but I think it’s a story that anyone can love.