Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
Sumac Lottery is the fifth of seven kids in her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. With four parents, a parrot, a dog, a rat and two cats, the sprawling Victorian house they call Camelottery is already quite full (in the best sense). But then one day, Sumac gets the news that one of their grandfathers will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather—a long-dormant one 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 the prickly old man clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains and strange vegetables, odd 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?
About the authors
EMMA DONOGHUE was born in Dublin and lived in England for many years before moving to Canada. She writes in many genres, including theatre, radio drama and literary history, but is best known for her fiction, both historical (Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Astray, Frog Music) and contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing, Touchy Subjects). Her seventh novel, Room, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region) and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. It sold more than two million copies. Donoghue scripted the film adaptation, a Canadian-Irish film by Lenny Abrahamson starring Brie Larson, which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. And her most recent novel, The Wonder, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.
Caroline Hadilaksono was born in Indonesia, moved to Los Angeles when she was twelve, and while she currently lives in New York, she will always consider herself a California gal. She is equal parts designer and illustrator, and one of the original cofounders of The League of Moveable Type. These days she's busy making pictures, books, and educational science apps. She dreams of traveling around the world and one day living in a tree house. Find her online at hadilaksono.com.
- Unknown, Publishers Weekly Best Book
“Full of clever names and wordplay, this engaging tale is moving without veering into sentimentality. For all the Lotterys’ apparent eccentricity, the novel delves into universal themes of family relationships that will resonate with readers from all backgrounds.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Donoghue vividly captures the Lotterys’ chaotic but always loving home” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A timely and funny reading experience. . . . An ideal option for “Penderwicks” fans.” — School Library Journal
“A big, boisterous book with a lot of heart that speaks to the possibility and necessity of seeing diversity in stories. Highly Recommended.” — CM Magazine
“[Donoghue’s] fans will recognize not only her gift for representing a child’s point of view, but also her knack for showing how a family, no matter how small or large, develops its own language, even its own culture.” — New York Times