cover image The Lotterys Plus One

The Lotterys Plus One

Emma Donoghue, illus. by Caroline Hadilaksono. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-545-92581-5

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. [em]Author’s agent: Kathleen Anderson, Anderson Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Mar.) [/em]