The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue, of Room fame, has written a charming book for grade school age children about a family in Toronto who take in a Grandparent who is starting to suffer from dementia. But first a little bit about the family in the novel. They reside in a home named Camelottery, named for Camelot and also for their fortune in lottery winnings. PapaDum and PopCorn are the dads in the book and MaxiMum and CardaMom are the moms and between them they have either adopted or born a total of 7 children. Plus there is a three legged dog, a parrot, some cats and a rat. Add in the estranged dad of PopCorn who is the dementia sufferer and there is bound to be some chaos and confusion.

It is told through the point of view of Sumac, the middle child. She is practical and trustworthy and given a particular role in welcoming “Grumps” into the family. But she soon learns that maybe she isn’t as tolerant a person as she had previously thought. Her relationship with Grumps gives her some cause to reflect on her beliefs.

This is a lovely book about a loving family and how they have created their own kingdom, but are not just content to wall themselves in. It’s not too preachy which is good. But still manages to introduce us to families that push the boundary of convention. I love a good eccentric family book. If you do too, then you will enjoy The Lotterys Plus One and you might want to try the Hilary McKay series that starts with Saffy’s Angel as well.


Reviewed by: Gina on May 16, 2017

Number of Pages: 303

Tags: Juvenile

Find it in the catalog