Tuesday 15 September 2020

'A Kind of Spark' by Elle McNicoll, reviewed by Pippa Goodhart

This is an important new book, and one that is already proving itself popular.


Bright likeable year 6 girl Addie is autistic, and, like one of her sisters before her, is finds fitting in with school norms hard. This story is written in the first person by Addie, and she explains how it feels to be here when others get loud, when a need to know something grabs and excites her, and when others pick on her for being different.


When a school topic is about those accused and killed as witches in her Scottish home village hundreds of years ago, Addie feels so strongly for them that she determines to see a monument put in place for those women. She has to battle towards that goal, supported by a good friend, an understanding school librarian, and her lovely, if fraught, family.


This is quite a short novel, very accessible and a compelling read, fresh with interest and an unusual main character viewpoint. 

Elle McNicoll’s is an exciting new authorial voice. Congratulations to new publisher Knighs Of for this book. It’s just the kind of book needed to help children develop empathy and to find themselves within a good story. 


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