We Contain Multitudes
by Sarah Henstra


Overview - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets I'll Give You the Sun in an exhilarating and emotional novel about the growing relationship between two teens boys, told through the letters they write to one another.
Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment. With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and devastating family secrets, Jonathan and Kurl struggle to overcome their conflicts and hold onto their relationship...and each other.
This rare and special novel celebrates love and life with engaging characters and stunning language, making it perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nina LaCour, and David Levithan.

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More About We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra
 
 
 
Overview
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets I'll Give You the Sun in an exhilarating and emotional novel about the growing relationship between two teens boys, told through the letters they write to one another.
Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment. With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and devastating family secrets, Jonathan and Kurl struggle to overcome their conflicts and hold onto their relationship...and each other.
This rare and special novel celebrates love and life with engaging characters and stunning language, making it perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nina LaCour, and David Levithan.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316524650
  • ISBN-10: 0316524654
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: May 2019
  • Page Count: 384
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Young Adult Fiction > LGBT
Books > Young Adult Fiction > Romance - LGBT
Books > Young Adult Fiction > Epistolary (Letters & Diaries)

 
BookPage Reviews

We Contain Multitudes

In Sarah Henstra’s We Contain Multitudes, an unlikely duo are paired up as pen pals for a weekly writing assignment, an arrangement that leads to friendship and even love.

Senior Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky and sophomore Jonathan “Jo” Hopkirk couldn’t be more mismatched: Kurl plays football and works for his family’s roofing business, while Jo plays the mandolin and loves Walt Whitman so much he dresses like him.

Telling the story solely via their exchanged letters, Henstra pulls off an especially neat trick: Jo and Kurl start off as different as night and day in both voice and temperament, but over time they begin to sound more like one another as they discover common ground and learn a bit more about each other’s lives. Jo is bullied mercilessly at school but is also grieving a loss from early childhood; Kurl is obsessed with his brother’s military service in Afghanistan, yet he fails to make the connection between combat trauma and his own perilous home life. Henstra doesn’t sugarcoat any of these challenges, which makes the teens’ love story a hard-won treasure. Throughout the Minneapolis-set novel runs a sad and lovely thread about Prince, which encourages playlist creation while reading.

There’s something about seeing the world through these boys’ separate points of view that brings the story to life in a visceral way. We Contain Multitudes is a heartbreaker in many ways, but it’s ultimately a beautiful story about how love (and poetry) are sometimes enough to carry the day. 

 
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