When love multiplies, everything changes.
The Multiplication of Elmer Whit asks you to fall in love. You might love its math equations, the cast of minor characters, its gentle satire, or even the ending. You might adore the main character (a special education student trying to conquer his adolescent demons.) You might even develop a crush on his unexpected girlfriend, his first car, a road trip, and a library janitor. This coming-of-age story showcases what happens to hate when forgiveness is allowed to multiply. When a seventeen-year old protagonist in a YA novel captures your imagination, falling in love is easy.
Elmer was no different from other boys except for one small item: a tiny little variation that showed up during the mysteries of cell division in his mother’s womb. With God looking on, and even with his approval, Elmer’s DNA experienced a tiny blip. It was the reason that the peculiar birthmark on Elmer’s lower jaw was the color of new bruises. It was the reason that he loved repeating simple math problems but couldn’t read big words. It was the reason that he was secretly brilliant and beautiful and so freaking nice. It was the reason that he was slow and strange and wonderful. Even when the dark soil of his family altered his brain chemistry even more, he was still a work of art. True, Elmer’s DNA was different from most other kids’ but then again, whose genes are perfectly aligned anyway?
(Page 10, The Multiplication of Elmer Whit)
Karsen Kipp is the pen name of a California educator whose young adult stories are saturated with hope in the midst of modern life. As a curriculum developer, book reviewer, novelist, essayist, and public educator, she has spent her career playing in a very large sandbox. Kipp’s newest YA project-in-progress Pulley Town explores a small town’s mysterious justice system in which children’s rewards and punishments are reversed.