THE LOTTERYS MORE OR LESS by Emma Donoghue

THE LOTTERYS MORE OR LESS

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

When a major storm forces Toronto’s creative Lottery clan to revise their plans for the winter solstice and succeeding holidays, Sumac misses familiar family traditions.

The ice storm transforms the Lotterys’ neighborhood into a glittering, dangerous fairyland while, flight canceled, PapaDum and Sic, oldest of the family’s four biological kids wait it out in India. Again, the third-person perspective is filtered through family record-keeper, traditionalist, and worrywart, Sumac, 9, oldest of the three adopted Lotterys. While caring for couch-surfing Brazilian visitor Luiz, sidelined after wiping out when sledding behind a car, the Lotterys assist neighbors afflicted by power outages and, losing power themselves, gratefully accept help. Everyone misses PapaDum, the family cook and handier of their two dads, though PopCorn tries to fill in. Stresses mount. Sumac’s enraged when her impromptu entry in icy Lake Ontario’s Polar Bear Plunge goes unrecorded. Amid setbacks and challenges, the Lotterys exercise their “muscles of surrender.” Brian, 4, ventures farther into gender reinvention; MaxiMum meditates with steely resolve; CardaMom comforts; and the harsh weather turns multiethnic and immigrant neighbors into friends. The Lottery kids, a series’ strength, are extra-engaging; their gay dads and lesbian moms, here softened by parental imperfections and quirks, continue to curate a tantalizingly wide-ranging home-school curriculum. In this celebration of Canada’s vibrant cultural diversity, French Canada’s culture and the country’s second official language are conspicuous in their almost total absence.

Funny, well-crafted, and mostly intersectionally inclusive. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-338-20753-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018




Kirkus Interview
Emma Donoghue
April 3, 2017

In Emma Donoghue’s new middle-grade novel, The Lotterys Plus One, 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's 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? “Full of clever names and wordplay, this engaging tale is moving without veering into sentimentality,” our critic writes in a starred review. “For all the Lotterys’ apparent eccentricity, the novel delves into universal themes of family relationships that will resonate with readers from all backgrounds.” View video >

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