I read this for the Halloweenathon challenge while at first I didn’t think it have anything to do with Halloween it had a real spark of the holiday in there. It also has a OwnVoice neurodivergent protagonist whom I found very engaging so I present to you.
A Kind of Spark
A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old autistic Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie feels a deep bond with this witches and they become one of her special interest. She knows how easily people can turn on you when you are different and expect these women were just scared and different women, who were a lot like her. Addie is willing to challenge some of the social issues autism presents if she can get this memorial made, for example she has to speak in front of the town council multiple times. Something that would be difficult for anyone. She also has to change how they see her, as more than just a disabled girl who can’t do anything? A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy
What did I not like about this book? Umm nothing. It features one of the most realistic (perhaps because it is written by a wonderful #OwnVoices author) stories of a middle grade autistic girl that I’ve seen. They even got the language right. Addie becomes better about being her own advocate throughout the book. She is also good at a key point to draw historical parallels of her condition and the so called witches to help convince the town of something. I love the book showing her special interests, her need to stim, her getting overwhelmed, masking and especially her relationship with her sister Keedie who is also autistic. Her friend Audrey who asks about her special intrests is also a highlight. As is the portrayal of autistic burnout. Overall a standout book about autism and witchcraft, perfect for Halloween.
Amazon: A Kind of Spark