A Kind of Spark – Elle McNicoll

Today is the second of April, official Autism Awareness Day – so it seems fitting that this review goes up today. This is one of the most special books I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing and I hope you give it a chance too! Add it on Goodreads, and pre-order it directly from the publisher’s bookshop, Round Table Books here.

Thank you so much to Knights Of and Eishar Brar for sending me an advance copy for reviewing.

RELEASE DATE: 04/06/20

STAR RATING: 5/5 ✶

SYNOPSIS: Autistic eleven-year old Addie thinks sharks are way cooler than dolphins. When she learns about witches in school, she is shocked to find out about her small Scottish town’s involvement in the early modern witch hunts. Feeling the need to do something, she decides to petition for a memorial to be put up for the victims. However, that’s easier said than done…

OPINIONS: A Kind of Spark is one of those rare treasures of a book that have the potential to change the world for the better. Addie is an unapologetically autistic girl fighting for what she believes in, despite what people around her think. Just like her, Elle and her book pave the way for autistic girls and their acceptance in a world determined to make things difficult for them.

I could go and write about how inspiring Addie’s story is. But I feel that that would be both besides the point and belittling – Addie is, and Addie follows her dreams and that’s that. And that is why I think it is so great that this is an own voices story. Elle captures the struggles and insecurities, the obstacles faced from both within and without of a girl growing up and feeling like she is somehow never enough with nuance and turns them into a captivating story. She is a writer to watch, and I can’t wait to read more of what she has to say in the future.

Growing up with an autistic brother as an overly smart, bookish, socially awkward and not necessarily neuro-typical kid, I learned about the world through reading books for most of my life. Reading a book like A Kind of Spark as an eight or nine year old would have helped me understand much better. So, from me, and on behalf of kids like me, a heartfelt thank you for writing this book.

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