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The Lotterys are a very large, very diverse family. When a grandfather is diagnosed with dementia, he comes to live with them. Nine-year-old Sumac tries to welcome "Grumps," but he is not only resistant, but also racist and homophobic. Sumac hatches a plot to find him another home.
The story is charming and the characters are well done. The complex interactions among a large group of people as they attempt to adjust are realistic.
I felt the diversity in the story was way overdone. There are four parents consisting of two same-sex couples who have decided to live together and raise children together. These four have the following cultural backgrounds: Scottish Canadian, Indian, Jamaican and Mohawk. The first four kids are some kind of biological blend of the four parents (and one of these four has autism), the next three are adopted, the oldest of which is Filipino, the next one is transgender and the baby is developmentally disabled. It comes off like a deliberate attempt to include every single minority.
In addition, the parents are wealthy because they won the lottery the day the first child was born. Nobody has to work and all of the kids are homeschooled with all four parents home almost all the time. This is the fantasy family everyone wants to live in, but nobody actually does.
I had an issue with the fact that they had to go all the way to the Yukon to find a homophobic racist. There seems to be an implication that liberal, diverse Toronto is all happy and accepting of everybody. Toronto is my native city and, though it is a great place for people of all backgrounds to live, it is certainly not free of bigotry (sadly).
I was also bothered by the fact that the transgender child is not completely accepted as transgender. It bothers me on principle, but also because it is inconsistent with the characters. I find it difficult to believe that people who are so very open and accepting of everything else would have difficulty switching pronouns when their child insists he is "not a girl"!
That being said, I think this book would appeal to elementary-age readers because of its appeal to fantasy. Older readers, however, may find it difficult to relate to the characters for the same reason.