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Book of the Week: A Kind of Spark

One of the best books to come out this year, and this week’s Book of the Week, A Kind of Spark is a fantastic debut by Scottish author Elle McNicoll.

The bold cover with its hidden images offers a peek into this brilliant tale of courage, friendship and what it means to be different.

The story follows Addie, the youngest in her family, who loves sharks, finding excellent words in her thesaurus, and her older twin sisters (even though they are polar opposites of one other).

At school, Addie and her classmates learn about the history of their town, and the witch trials that took place hundreds of years ago. Addie is horrified to learn about the fate of the women who were accused of being ‘witches’, and realises that they were just a little bit different – like her.

Addie decides to campaign for a memorial to be created, and to get her neighbours in the town to see things a little differently.

With friendship, family and lots of life lessons, this realistic, modern day story explains to the reader what it’s like to be autistic in a way that neurotypical children can easily understand.

Autistic readers are likely to nod in recognition at lots of the things she describes! Addie is a brilliant, brave character who values fairness most of all.

The friendships she makes along her journey are heart-warming, especially since the book shows us that bullies can come in all shapes, sizes and ages. (I’m not just saying this because the school’s Librarian is one of the book’s heroes either!)

If I had to describe this book in three hashtags, I would choose:

#Justice #Friendship #OwnVoices

I would recommend this fantastic novel to anyone interested in British history, anyone who enjoyed Onjali Q. Rauf’s The Boy At The Back of the Class (particularly those in Y5 or above), and to teachers everywhere!

By Mrs Hunt, Belmont Librarian