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A Kind of Spark Reviews

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

A Kind of Spark

Elle McNicoll

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Knights Of Media
Publisher: Knights Of Media
Publication date: 4 Jun 2020
ISBN: 9781913311056

A KIND OF SPARK tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there's more to the story of these 'witches', just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard?

  • The Sunday TimesChildren's Book of the Week
5 stars out of 5
Nicolette Jones
7 Jun 2020

"An involving story with a protagonist we root for"

In this remarkable debut, McNicoll writes out of her own experience, in a novel that has an autistic narrator. Eleven-year-old Addie lives in a small Scottish town and has elder twin sisters, one of whom is at university and also autistic, and the other who is neither and has a make-up blog. Addie encounters the worst kinds of prejudice and misunderstanding from others, particularly one of her school teachers, but this story illuminates her thoughts and feelings and the responses of her allies: her family and her friend Audrey. 

Reviews

  • The TimesChildren's Book of the Week
4 stars out of 5
Alex O’Connell
6 Jun 2020

"great novels with autistic lead characters are thin on the ground"

Through Addie’s story, McNicoll reminds us of the assumptions made about the neurologically different, skewering these beautifully while showing us that autism is not something you have, it’s what you are. It’s a big-hearted tale that shows compassion for all, even the loathsome Miss Murphy (a little cartoonish? I’d have dialled her down a notch). McNicoll also injects what could have been a rather on-the-nose school tale of the bullied taking on the bullies with a welcome historical shot as Addie becomes interested in the Scottish witch trials...