Ever wondered what you’d do if you found a heap of cash lying on the ground? I must confess, a few years ago whilst working on a campsite in Switzerland I did find an incredibly large bundle of notes on the ground and aged twenty-four I didn’t know how to resolve my ethical conundrum…find the owner, leave the money on the ground or keep shtum. Thankfully, a rather worried little boy returned to the scene and I was able to reunite him with his large wad of holiday spending money.
Finding money in the street means ‘Finders, keepers’ right? After Milo finds $105 on the road outside his house, he is left with the ultimate dilemma…what to do with it. Stepmom Liz tells him to keep it but his actual mum suggests finding the rightful owner. But returning lost money is a lot harder than it should be and once the kids from the neighbourhood get wind of Milo’s find they all have their own ideas about what should happen to the cash. It isn’t long before things rapidly turn into a disaster and the $105 is the least of Milo’s problems…
From Matt Stanton, the author of the laugh-out-loud Funny Kid and The Odds books, comes the first in another hit series that takes a very funny look at ‘the complicated business of being a kid.’ Bored: Milo Finds $105 is the tale of an unassuming, everyday kid caught up in a very real dilemma. Delivering excitement, intrigue and humour, Stanton turns the most mundane of occurrences into something much more and you certainly get your money’s worth. Milo would tell you that he got much more than his money’s worth and it really wasn’t worth it (unlike Stanton’s book which really is worth it).
What starts off as the world’s most boring day - so boring that Milo is following an ant around - quickly becomes an interesting and funny mystery as Milo, with the help of the other kids who live in the same cul-de-sac, try to identify where the money came from and who it belongs to. It should be straight forward given the lack of possibilities in Turtle Place but false claims, funny plans, snooping around and plenty of neighbourhood tween chatter soon have Milo worrying about organised crime, dodgy dealings, Russian spies, criminals, martial art experts and furniture thieves, and rapidly wishing he’d never actually found the money in the first place.
Without his older brother, who is serving with the army, Milo is an anxious character who is unsure how to fix his problem and finds himself at the mercy of the kids on his street. There’s the insanely confident new-kid-on-the-block and expert of a very weird martial art, Frog (who has a few secrets of his own); bully and keen claimant of the money, Rocco; siblings Luisa and Zak; and then there’s Evie Watson - a girl that Milo would love to go on a date with, perhaps he could spend the $105 on that. With only a passion for the money in common, the kids who have never talked much before forge friendships and problem solve like only kids that live on the same block can.
Funny stories set in your typical neighbourhood are all always going to be a hit with kids and the truth is that Milo’s experience could happen to anybody. Having fun, making friends and coming up with the ridiculous to explain the everyday are all central to the fast-paced action that plays out across several short and punchy chapters. The action will return to Turtle Place in book two with a story told through the eyes of Frog.
With huge thanks to Harper Collins and ABC for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 7+.