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A Kind of Spark

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  177 reviews
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? A story about friendship, cou ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 4th 2020 by Knights Of Media
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Average rating 4.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  749 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
"People aren't like books. A familiar book is always the same, always comforting and full of the same words and pictures. A familiar person can be new and challenging, no matter how many times you try to read them."

I want to read more OwnVoices books with disability representation so why not start this journey with a middle grade story about a girl with autism? It already had rave reviews so I knew I was in for something good. I finished this book in two hours. Didn't want it to stop. It's set i
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stunning, moving and powerful book with a main character a lot of people - children and adults - should look up to.

Addie is a young, autistic girl living in a small village near Edinburgh. When she learns about the innocent women who lost their lives during the witch trials centuries before, she makes it her mission to honour and memorialise them. Unfortunately, in a village where prejudice against anyone who is different is rife, Addie finds her mission to be much harder than she first realis
ENGLISH The autistic community sees... so much ableism, and so many people trying to tell our stories and speak for us. So to have a book like this, for children, means so much. I've already read this book twice, because I found it somewhat hard to read at first and wanted to give myself the opportunity to really let it sink in and to form an actual opinion on it. It wasn't hard at first because I didn't like the book, but because it hit a little too close to home and I read it at a time where I ...more
Since the early nineties, autism was something that was rarely discussed and certainly never understood. Knowledge of and a window into what it means to be autistic in the world of children’s literature has been even scanter. The literature that I have encountered such as The London Eye Mystery and I Am Bat or My Brother Sammy have all been written by people who may have worked with or lived with children who are autistic but A Kind of Spark is, uniquely, a book which has been written who identi ...more
Robin Stevens
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, heartfelt, lyrical and warm book about speaking up and being proud of who you are. For anyone 8+, but readers of all ages will take something special from this book. An incredibly assured debut.

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It takes a lot for a book to make me cry.

Even though I feel stories deeply, and my heart lives and dies with the characters, I don’t usually cry.

But then most books don’t represent me.

This book made me cry, not because it is sad, but because it is everything I needed this book to be.

Had I this book when I was a child maybe, maybe I’d have realised sooner that not only is not being normal ok, it can actually be a superpower. Maybe I’d have felt less out of place. Maybe it would of hurt less.

Esmée van der Weide
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you had to read one book about autism, let it be this one.

(Full review to come)
Lizzie Huxley-Jones
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay so I have to tell you about A Kind of Spark by ⁠Elle McNicoll which is one of the best novels and representations of autistic people I have ever read. The story follows Addie, a young autistic girl, who campaigns for a memorial to the witch trials in her village.⁠

Addie does this because in the story of the witches she recognises the persecution of difference that autistic people face, and she wants people to see and to listen and to remember. It’s a story of demanding to be seen.⁠

Rare for
Michelle Harrison
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary, powerful and important book. It fully deserves all the wonderful things being said about it. A beautiful, heartfelt, accomplished debut that taught me things I didn’t know and needed to. There is so much to learn and discuss here, and I hope this book finds its way into every classroom and every school.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
I cried.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am begging y’all, BEGGING y’all to stop amplifying harmful books with autistic characters that are not written by autistic authors and SUPPORT THIS WONDERFUL OWN VOICES BOOK INSTEAD. This was INCREDIBLE!! OH MY GOD.

****Slight spoiler below: *****

The one thing I will note is at least one other reviewer touched on how the antagonist classmate may be coded as dyslexic and that the dyslexic bully is an ableist trope that often pops up and isn’t acknowledged. She is not explicitly labeled as dyslex
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about Addie, an 11 year old girl with autism who lives in a small town outside Edinburgh. When Addie's class study the history of the Scottish Witches, Addie decides that there needs to be a memorial for these poor ladies who were persecuted just for being different.
This is a funny, heartfelt story about friendship and one wee girl's mission for justice.
I’ve seen so much positive feedback for A Kind of Spark that when I knew I wanted to read it. Elle McNicoll delivered on all the positive hype and had me in tears. Which is quite an achievement, but some stories connect with readers deeply and A Kind of Spark was that for me.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
So my mission to make my 10 year old enjoy reading continues and I grabbed this one for her from the library. The cover jumped out at me and I remembered seeing @diaryofabookmum reading it and loving it a while ago so thought we'd give it a go. 

It took us a little while to get into it, her more than me, but by around the halfway mark we were both in love with Addie and enjoying the book! 

I loved seeing how my daughter reacted to certain parts of it. Addie's teacher is just awful, should never be
Britt Zwijnenberg
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s such a wonderful book! I really could see myself in it and I definitely shed some tears while reading. Really recommend it!
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was blown away by this, especially as the cover is a bit deceptive at first. It really wasn't what I expected, although it being chosen as a Waterstones book of the month should have been a clue.
Addie is 11 years old and is autistic, she's growing up in a small town near Edinburgh and she's being bullied. When she learns about the Scottish witch trials, she realises that if she had been alive then, then she would probably have been accused of being a witch.
This is a powerful and important boo
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
HUGE thanks to Jonathan Ball Publishers South Africa for sending me this book to review!

"Someone being autistic is no different to being left handed or colour blind. It means we experience the world differently"

This book was an absolute joy to read, and it is such an important own voices account of what it means to be neurodivergent or on the spectrum, and I reccomend EVERYONE read it!!
It's a middle grade novel, so it reads very easily. But despite that, each of the characters have depth and yo
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full review to come

I’m not crying, you are!
Sarah Gerard
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
Absolutely brilliant! Told from the perspective of a young autistic girl, Addie. A very insightful read, really made me understand more about what goes through a mind of someone who is autistic and how they feel. To me, the book is a must read for all children as it teaches them about the importance of respect, acceptance of those who are different to ourself and treating others with kindness. It also emphasises the impact that you can have on others through bullying/ being unkind. The book coul ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There's been a lot of hype for this book, and it's really well deserved! I read the whole thing in one sitting. It was so easy to get into and difficult to put down. This is a really moving story about a 11-year-old Addie who is autistic. When her class begins learning about the witch trials in school, she feels familiarity in the stories of how these "witches" were treated. She sets out to create a memorial to these women from her town's past, which is very much tied up in how people see her to ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful. RTC
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve rated it a generous 5 stars because I think this will be perfect for and so so important to a lot of kids. I really liked it, it’s very cute and so easy to read, and Addie is fierce and loveable. I learnt a lot about what it’s like to be autistic, and it’s very empowering and encourages empathy and inclusivity. Really good!
Rachel Verna
I really loved this book, I do take issue with one part of this book, which is why I probably rate this 4.5 really. Maybe 4.8 if we're going against the GoodReads system anyway.
TW: Ableism, Ableist slurs; Internal Ableism; discussion of being institutionalised, casual racism (challenged), mild discussion of torture;

The main character Addie is Autistic and eleven-years-old. This book deals with Ableism that that Autistic kids face, often by the adults who are meant to support them the most. Tea
Addie is an 11-year-old autistic girl who is completely fascinated with sharks and doesn’t go anywhere without her trusted thesaurus. But, when her class starts a new topic about the witch trials that occurred in her village of Juniper, Addie becomes invested in finding out everything she can about what happened and is determined for the rest of the people in her village to see those who were accused of witchcraft as she does; not criminals, not witches, just different. As Addie tells us her sto ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book which explores autism with such sensitivity and emotion. This book tackles friendship, courage and self belief. Thoroughly enjoyed it hence reading in a day. Well worth the read ❤️.
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Addie lives outside of Edinburgh with her two older sisters and her parents. One of her sisters, Keedie, is autistic like Addie, and she and Addie are very close. But Keedie can't protect Addie from difficulties at school, where classmates bully her because she's different, or from teachers who don't understand her. Addie learns about the Scottish witch trails, and the women who were accused of witchcraft because they were different from those around them, and then murdered after an unfair trail ...more
Chloe Turner
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
I loved reading this book, I loved the message of the story. I no want to read any other stories around the SEN theme. Any books similar to this let me know. The books tells a story of 11 year old Addie who is autistic and is inspired by something she is learning about at school. Witches. These women were accused of being a witch for being different and were horrifically punished for this. Addie decides she wants a memorial in the village to honour these women who were unfairly killed. She is to ...more
adventuresinabookshop Jo DM
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant and important debut by an author I hope to read a lot more from in the future.

11 year old Addie is autistic, and as the story is told from her perspective we are able to experience first hand what life is like for her. As a neurodivergent author, Ellie McNicoll is able to show the importance of understanding and empathy and how our differences are what makes life so interesting. It also shows the darker side and how bullying and stereotypes can be so harmful.

When Addie learns
Wendy Bamber
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really lovely book which I imagine gives a solid impression of what it is like to be autistic. Hard for a not autistic person to know if it is true to form but I think so. Understanding others’ emotions, working so hard to keep on top of her own emotions, it just shows how exhausting it must be to manage friendships and relationships with family members and teachers who don’t 100% get it. It has certainly emphasised to me the importance of being kind to all and understanding that different behav ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So powerful, so brilliant. A must-read.

I finished this book so quickly, I just couldn't put it down.

Addie is my hero, I wish I was this brave and wonderful at her age.

Addie is an 11 year old girl who is Autistic. She lives in Scotland with her family. You follow her battles at school with bullies, her home life with her sisters and parents and her day to day struggles. You also see her determination and strength as she battles to get a memorial for the wrongly accused and murdered "witches" Thi
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Elle McNicoll is a debut children's author from Scotland, now living in East London. As a neurodivergent writer, she is passionate about disability rights and representation and assists as a mentor for neurodivergent students at UCL. When she isn't writing fiction, she works as an editor and in her spare time, makes colourful chokers for friends to wear. A Kind of Spark is her first novel. ...more

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