The Lotterys plus one

Emma Donoghue, 1969-

Book - 2017

Once upon a time, two couples with Jamaican, Mohawk, Indian, and Scottish ethnic roots won the lottery and bought a big house where all of them, four adults and seven adopted and biological children, could live together in harmony--but change is inevitable, especially when a disagreeable grandfather comes to stay.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
303 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780545925815
0545925819
Main Author
Emma Donoghue, 1969- (author)
Other Authors
Caroline Hadilaksono (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Sumac Lottery's brother describes their family best: "We're a raggle-taggle, multiculti crew." There are 11 of them living in their huge house (called CameLottery): two pairs of parents, PapaDam and PopCorn, and CardaMom and MaxiMom; and seven children, some biological, some adopted. Though it's hectic, it's friendly and comfortable, until PopCorn's father, a grizzled old-fashioned man they secretly call Grumps, comes to live with them. The frenetic chaos of a whimsical, highly untraditional family of 11 could quickly get unbearably cutesy, but Donoghue manages to keep its feet on the ground through stalwart Sumac's precocious observations. When Grumps arrives, it's empathetic Sumac who seems most affected, and she worries that what's best for the Lotterys might not be what's best for Grumps. Through all the colorful jumble of CameLottery, the family's idiosyncratic portmanteaus, and the individualistic lifestyles, Donoghue zeroes in on the vivid, dynamic characters, who patiently and supportively deal with realistic conflicts and accommodate, sometimes reluctantly, different perspectives. This openhearted novel demonstrates that, even if a family looks unusual to some, love and acceptance is universal. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

One of the most diverse families readers are likely to meet, the Lotterys—whose name was inspired by the winning lottery ticket that made a dream for a family come true—are four longtime friends turned coparents (a lesbian couple and a gay one) and seven homeschooled children of various racial backgrounds, quirks, and talents. The family enjoys a harmoniously unconventional existence in its 32-room Toronto mansion until the estranged father of one of the Lottery parents arrives for a visit of undetermined length. The change in dynamics caused by the elderly man's stubbornness and conservatism is especially hard on nine-year-old Sumac, who is assigned to be his personal guide. In a drily funny story about adjusting to new situations, Donoghue (Room) vividly captures the Lotterys' chaotic but always loving home through a flurry of inside jokes, banter, and nicknames. If some readers have difficulty keeping the members of the large family straight, Hadilaksono's lively David Roberts–esque illustrations, not all seen by PW, provide a colorful guide to the Lotterys' wonderfully offbeat home. Ages 8–12. Author's agent: Kathleen Anderson, Anderson Literary. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Mar.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—Sumac Lottery has a pretty sweet life. Four parents (in two loving couples), six siblings, five pets, and a big old house in Toronto. Her world is turned upside down when Grumps, an estranged grandparent, comes to stay. Grumps, who has dementia and is often disoriented, doesn't approve of anything he sees at the Lotterys' house, and Sumac doesn't approve of him one bit. Grumps is, well, grumpy and set in his somewhat bigoted ways, and the Lotterys are a lot to take in. Donoghue is the author of many acclaimed books for adults, and her first title for young readers is a kind of realistic fantasy, a warmhearted, deeply improbable, emotionally alert jumble of ancient Sumerian, lottery winnings, elaborate family rituals, gelato, and acceptance. Many issues are touched upon in this novel, including homeschooling, gender fluidity, and diverse cultural traditions; in Donoghue's capable hands, they are treated with a cheerful self-awareness that lends itself to a timely and funny reading experience. At its core, this is a classic family disruption story, complete with a slow approachment of understanding between the intruder and various family members, and an uplifting if imperfect conclusion. Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After two couples won the lottery and bought a big house where all of them, four adults and seven adopted and biological children, could live together, a disagreeable grandfather comes to stay.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A self-proclaimed "good girl" from a very large and unruly family gives up her bedroom to make room for an estranged, grumpy grandparent who can no longer care for himself and who does not approve of how the rest of the family lives. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Once upon a time, two multiethnic gay couples won the lottery and bought a big house where all of them, two fathers, two mothers, and seven adopted and biological children, could live a sustainable lifestyle, together in harmony--but change is inevitable, especially when a disagreeable grandfather with dementia comes to stay.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The bestselling author of the adult novel Room bursts onto the children's book scene with this cross between Little Miss Sunshine, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Modern Family.Sumac Lottery is nine years old and the self-proclaimed "good girl" of her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. And what a family the Lotterys are: four parents, children both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets, all living and learning together in a sprawling house called Camelottery. Then one day, the news breaks that one of their grandfathers is suffering from dementia and will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather -- the long dormant "Grumps," who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn't been part of any of their lives.Suddenly, everything changes. Sumac has to give up her room to make the newcomer feel at home. She tries to be nice, but prickly Grumps clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains, strange vegetables, rescue pets, a multicultural household... He's worse than just tough to get along with -- Grumps has got to go! But can Sumac help him find a home where he belongs?

Review by Publisher Summary 5

The bestselling author of the adult novel Room bursts onto the children's book scene with this cross between Little Miss Sunshine, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Modern Family.