Known for the her award winning and best selling adult novel, Room, Emma Donoghue, has just published a new novel and it’s for kids, The Lotterys Plus One (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books; Scholastic Audio; OverDrive Sample; illustrated by Caroline Hadilaksono). Written for middle graders, it’s rising on Amazon’s sales rankings thanks to an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition.
Donoghue reads the opening:
“Once upon a time, a man from Delhi and man from Yukon fell in love, and so did a woman from Jamaica and a Mohawk woman. The two couples became best friends and had a baby together. When they won the lottery, they gave up their jobs and found a big old house where their family could learn and grow … and grow some more.”
Joining the overflowing household is one of the grandfathers, suffering from dementia. NPR notes that even though Donoghue’s adult books explore difficult subjects, this new novel is “all light.”
Donoghue, whose mother suffers from the disease, tells NPR “everything I read about dementia for children had a dreary tone to it, a sort of ‘let’s stop the action and all give you sad facts,’ you know? So I don’t believe there’s any subject that can’t be handled with a little bit of spark, so I try and make it very accurate, but also accept the humor that can be in misunderstandings … and above all, I avoided being too sad.”
Kirkus and PW give it stars, with PW calling it “a drily funny story about adjusting to new situations.”