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Literature / The Lotterys Plus One

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Seven Kids. Four Parents. Five Pets. And One Grumpy Grandpa.

The Lotterys Plus One is a Middle Graders novel by Emma Donoghue.

The Lotterys are not your average family. Far from it, perhaps. With two gay dads (PapaDum and PopCorn), two gay moms (CardaMum and MaxiMum), and seven children (biological and adopted) (Sic, Catalpa, Wood, Aspen, Sumac, Brian (real name Briar), and Oak), they are not the kind of people you would casually run into... unless you live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After the family won the lottery one day, they decided to change their names accordingly, and bought a big old house in which to live, which they have dubbed the "Camelottery".

Well, now, their family's getting a little bigger. PopCorn has just gotten word that his father, Iain Miller, is showing signs of dementia after having gotten burned in his house (he managed to put the fire out before it could spread). As a result, Iain is going to be living with the Lotterys for a while.

And boy, is it gonna be a long visit. He's grumpy, grouchy, doesn't say much, and doesn't think much of the family or their ways. Plus, he's been moved into the bedroom of the Lotterys' middle child, Sumac, who had to move up to the spare room, which she is NOT happy about. But still, Iain is family, so the Lotterys will do all they can to accommodate him.

The book was published on March 28th, 2017. The book has a sequel, The Lotterys More or Less.

The Lotterys Plus One contains examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Diamond, the Lottery family's dog, is missing one of her back legs.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Sic tends to wear these, with phrases such as "Free Shrugs" and "Bad Spellers Of The World, Untie!".
  • Funny Afro: Sic, the oldest Lottery child, has an afro.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Iain Miller. He doesn't talk much, rarely has anything nice to say, and is often critical of the Lottery family's ways.
  • Happily Adopted: Sumac, Brian, and Oak. Sumac's parents, Nineta and Jensen, weren't really ready to be parents when they had Sumac. The Lotterys were friends of theirs, and agreed to raise Sumac for them. Sumac still seems to be on good terms with her birth parents, though.
  • Homeschooled Kids: The Lotterys don't send their kids to school. Rather, they give their kids assignments on what to learn for the day. Iain finds this way of learning outrageous when he learns about it.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Lotterys have seven children.
  • Racist Grandma: Iain. He has no qualms about calling MaxiMum "colored mum" in what the book describes as a "sneery tone".
  • Randomly Reversed Letters: Half of the letters on the door to Brian and Oak's room are backwards as a result of Brian's handwriting.
  • Reverse Psychology: In Chapter 8, when Iain turns down the offer to go to the beach, MaxiMum wonders aloud if he's just not up to the exertion or the heat. That gets him to state that he's in good health, and will come along.