A Kind of Spark

Read this book in Granite’s Sora Digital Library!

Written by Elle McNicoll

A Kind of Spark is about a girl on the autism spectrum who lives in Scotland. Addie (as she likes to be called) struggles with classmates who make fun of her, and a teacher who not only doesn’t try to help or understand her but also ridicules and punishes her. Addie’s safe place is the school library, where the librarian appreciates her and encourages her to explore the world through books.

Addie learns that her town was one of many which held witch trials. She is disturbed that these women were put to death for being misunderstood, and then mostly forgotten. She feels a kinship with them, which leads her to campaign for a monument remembering what happened.

This book is told in first person. It gives the reader an inside look at what it’s like to be autistic. A Kind of Spark would be an excellent choice for teachers wanting to help their students understand neurodiversity – and by extension, appreciate and respect the differences in others.

(Our media center received a copy of this book from Sammy’s Buddy Program.)

Reviewed by Cheryl Calkins, Librarian, Pioneer Elementary
Review shared in December 2023
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grade s 5-7+

Addie is a girl from a small Scottish town with a history of witchcraft, who is autistic. She is determined to pay tribute to the people who were accused and killed, because she sees that they were not witches after all. She sees that these people were special like Addie, and she is here to give them a voice to speak from the past.

Reviewed by Travis Peterson, Librarian, Hillsdale Elementary
Review shared in October 2022
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grade 4-6

A Kind of Spark
Written by Elle McNicoll
Crown Books for Young Readers
179 pages
Release Date: October 19, 2021
ISBN: 9780593374252 (hardcover) / 9780593374283 (paperback)
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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