A kind of spark

by McNicoll, Elle,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 18 Libraries 18 of 23 copies
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Summary
Perfect for readers of Song for a Whale and Counting by 7s, a neurodivergent girl campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different.

"A must-read for students and adults alike." -School Library Journal, Starred Review

Ever since Ms. Murphy told us about the witch trials that happened centuries ago right here in Juniper, I can't stop thinking about them. Those people weren't magic. They were like me. Different like me.

I'm autistic. I see things that others do not. I hear sounds that they can ignore. And sometimes I feel things all at once. I think about the witches, with no one to speak for them. Not everyone in our small town understands. But if I keep trying, maybe someone will. I won't let the witches be forgotten. Because there is more to their story. Just like there is more to mine.

Award-winning and neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll delivers an insightful and stirring debut about the European witch trials and a girl who refuses to relent in the fight for what she knows is right.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In McNicoll's debut, Addie's first-person voice effectively portrays the frustrations and passions of an autistic fifth grader. During her local history lesson she learns about a group of "witches" from her area who were persecuted for being different. Identifying with their plight, Addie is determined to get her community to post a plaque in their honor, acknowledging the wrongs done to them. Adding to her challenges is the fact that she's bullied not only by her classmates, but by her teacher. Luckily, she has a staunch new friend, Audrey, whose character is a wonderful foil to those who refuse to understand Addie's alternate ways of perceiving and coping. Audrey is a sympathetic sponge, taking in information about Addie's diversity and giving young readers an opportunity to better understand autism. Addie's determination is an inspiring example to all who fight injustice and seek understanding. McNicoll, who identifies as neurodivergent, is spot-on as she captures the cadence and intensity of Addie's experiences. A well-written representation that will be appreciated for creating bridges of understanding."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In McNicoll's contemporary debut of advocacy and allyship, an autistic 11-year-old seeks to memorialize the women once tried as witches in her Scottish village. School is a mixed bag for Addie: while librarian Mr. Allison supports her interest in sharks, and new girl Audrey represents a promising friendship, teacher Ms. Murphy mocks Addie openly in class, and the tween can "see the stares, hear the whispers and the giggles" among her classmates. At home with her presumed-white family, older sister Keedie, who's also autistic, understands many of Addie's experiences, including the strain of masking in a largely neurotypical world, but faces her own difficulties at university. Keedie's twin Nina, meanwhile, is often irritable and jealous of her sisters' bond. During a school lesson about women who were tried, tortured, and executed for witchcraft, deeply empathic Addie draws parallels between history and her own present-day interactions, and begins to campaign for a memorial, undeterred by the town council's detractors. Though the unvarnished cruelty that Addie experiences can be painful to read, McNicoll, herself neurodivergent, portrays with clarity Addie's neurological reality, interpersonal bonds, and thoughtful reflections. Ages 8--12. (Oct.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Autistic girls -- Juvenile fiction.
Autism -- Fiction.
Scotland -- Juvenile fiction.
Scotland -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Crown Books for Young Readers,2021
Edition First American edition.
Language English
Description 179 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780593374252
0593374258
9780593374269
0593374266
Other Classic View