This is a really divine story about how being rich does not necessarily mean having a lot of money.
Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent was born to Mr and Mrs Bobton-Trent, who were absolutely filthy rich and lived in three enormous houses, all around the world and who entertained anyone and everyone they knew (and some they didn’t) as much as they possibly could.
Hubert Horatio, known as H, was an extremely gifted child. He was speaking by one, reading by two, swimming proficiently by 3 and basically succeeding in all he tried.
Hubert Horatio loved being near his parents and his parents loved having him around, it was just sometimes a little hard to track each other down in their enormous house. Still, every night, H made the trek to his parents’ room and drank (by now rather cool) cocoa with them as they played Monopoly.
Then one night, during one of their many parties, something strange happened: they ran out of jelly. Then H started to notice other strange things, such as staff leaving because they hadn’t been paid and a considerable lack of food in the kitchen. It turned out, the Bobton-Trents were no longer quite as rich as they had once been.
What to do?
Luckily Hubert Horatio comes up with a plan, one he thinks his parents will despise, but in actual fact, they love! When it all boils down to it, Mr and Mrs Bobton-Trent don’t need mountains of money to be happy; they just need each other, and Hubert Horatio of course.
Why I love it:
I love the character of Hubert Horatio. Despite being rich and insanely gifted, Hubert is totally down to earth and extremely likeable. I also love his over-the-top hostess-with-the-mostess parents and I love that this story, unlike so many others about wealthy families, doesn’t paint the parents as unloving or unkind.
The moral of the story is terrific, of course, and the book is well worth a read, just for that, but I think the characters within the story are the real reason this one stands out for me.
Themes/ideas to discuss with your child:
- Being rich and what this really means
- Being gifted/super smart
- The value of money
- What is truly important
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
- From reading the title of the book, what do we already know about Hubert Horatio?
- Is Hubert Horatio someone you think you would like to be friends with? Why/why not?
- What is a millionaire?
- What is a genius?
- What is in the background of the cover illustration? Why do you think it is there?
- Would you like to have the name Hubert Horatio?
- Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
- Why do you think the Bobton-Trents ran out of money?
- Why did their staff leave?
- Why did Hubert Horatio think his parents would hate the new house?
- Did they hate it? Why not?
- Do you think the family will be happier now, or do you think they’d be happier if they still had lots of money?
- What things do you think you need in order to be happy?
- Would you rather have a massive house, or be close to your parents?
Do you think Hubert Horatio would be a good friend? What makes you think this?
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