Reviews tagging Ableism

A Kind of Spark, by Elle McNicoll

46 reviews

bdingz's review

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

4.5


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t_higgsreviews's review against another edition

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challenging emotional hopeful inspiring fast-paced

5.0

5 Stars
CAWPILE = 9.25

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cass_lit's review

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3.5

Please understand that this is not an easy read. There is a lot of ableism and bullying of an Autistic child. It’s an important story because, as Addie says, if we ignore history that makes us ashamed we’re just more likely to repeat it. There’s no sudden happy ever after, because there are still bigots and bullies in the real world. Most of the world is still designed to exclude neurodivergent people. 

Books like this should be required reading in elementary schools. 

CW: heavy bullying, heavy ableism, use of the R-word. 

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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. 

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kellys_bookcase's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative 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


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bexi's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative inspiring reflective 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

4.0


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meagangrace's review against another edition

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

4.0


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kbergsten's review against another edition

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emotional inspiring 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


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alwaysshure's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring 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? Yes

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kate_readingthroughinfinity's review against another edition

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

4.0

This was such a sweet, uplifting story. It was lovely to read a book about an autistic main character written by an autistic author. Addie was such a wonderful MC; she's thoughtful and kind and I loved her passion for sharks and her campaign to get the monument built. The ending was just so soft and adorable too. 

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