Reviews

A Kind of Spark, by Elle McNicoll

smmrmmrmmr's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.75

 Essential read for any child, and any adult.

Made me sob huge tears. My mum got this for my smallest sister, and gave it to me as I had nothing to read. As someone seeking an autism diagnosis, I recognised so much of myself in Addie, and I want nothing more than to protect the Addie's of this world with all my heart 

ducky's review against another edition

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emotional inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

myrthekorf's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

jheavlinmartinez's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

“It’s better to be open about who you really are, what you’re really like, and be disliked by a few than it is to hide who you are and be tolerated by many”

God, I love this book. As an autistic adult, this book is exactly the type of story that I needed as a child and I’m so glad that kids in school will get to read this book now. I loved the tie in to witches, the message on friendship, and the idea that adults aren’t always correct and can even be bullies too. 

bethanycattell's review against another edition

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5.0

Mostly I just want to reach back through time and give my child self a copy of this book (and a Keedie)

ghillie_dhu's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

unimaginablymine's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.25

This wasn’t what I expected. Most reviewers found this book to be uplifting—I did not. Perhaps I’m too many years removed from the target audience, but I’m pretty sure my 10 year old self would have found this book both very relatable and terribly depressing. 

The premise has promise. Drawing parallels between people tried for witchcraft centuries ago and autistic people being persecuted in modern times is clever and I like it, especially in a middle grade book. But the tone was a lot more grim than I anticipated, and about halfway through became a slog to the finish, desperately hoping for some joy to creep into the story. What small joys there are is brief and fleeting, and the negatives are drawn out and wallowed in. The core messaging to be yourself doesn’t feel earned, when there’s very few moments of Addie being herself without severe consequence.

The emphasis on ableism in this book cannot be overstated. It’s chapter after chapter of discrimination with next to no relief. For those who have never experienced this firsthand, you may find it illuminating. For those who are affected by this in their everyday lives already, you may find it exhausting. Instead of painting a complete picture of both the positives and challenges of growing up autistic, it felt overly consumed with the negatives and gave me very few enjoyable beats to cling to. 

My favorite moment was towards the very end, when
SpoilerAddie was writing by herself near a herd of cows, and talking to them like they could understand her.
I found that quite charming and endearing, and I wish there were more lighthearted beats like it to break up the heavy emotional aspects. I think the harsh realities would have more impact, if contrasted by more moments of delight and wonder. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

jnlundy's review

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emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

bookfeast101's review against another edition

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emotional fast-paced

5.0

butteredgarbage's review against another edition

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emotional reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0