Title: A Kind of Spark
Author: Elle McNicoll
Publisher: Knights Of
Audience: Middle Grade
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?
I still find it hard to come across good books with disability representation, so it was amazing to come across A Kind of Spark, which has Own-Voices disability representation as the author Elle McNicoll herself is neurodivergent. I loved every moment of A Kind of Spark and can’t wait to pick up more of Elle McNicoll’s books.
I adored Addie as the main character of A Kind of Spark, and she is filled with so much love and determination that pulled her story forward and made the book what it was. She has such a thirst for knowledge that I loved, especially all the facts about sharks, which I agree are always unappreciated. Her relationships with both Keedie and Audrey was so brilliant to see development as you could see Addie developing a support system for herself with Audrey and making such an amazing friend.
While I hated the characters of Emily and Miss Murphy, they showed what happens when people develop and grow up with prejudice in their lives. I think their characters showed how much books like A Kind of Spark are necessary so no one grows up behaving this way. I am glad in the end, they both were forced to face what they had done and how that had an effect on Addie.
Elle McNicoll has done such an amazing job portraying the struggles that autistic people go through when dealing with a world that has only been designed for neurotypical people. I learnt so much through A Kind of Spark as a neurotypical person; I really hope that others learn from this book as well. I think A Kind of Spark is essential reading for younger readers and adults as everyone has so much to learn from Addie and what she experiences.
I cannot recommend enough that everyone picks up A Kind of Spark and any other books that Elle McNicoll writes because they are so impactful, and you can learn so much from them.