Side profile of a head of a girl with eyes closed

A Kind of Spark / Elle McNicoll

Addie is an autistic girl living in Juniper, Scotland. Addie processes the world differently from those around her, but many in the community do not understand this about her; she does not like being talked to and treated like she’s “stupid”, but that’s exactly how many people see her. This includes Ms. Murphy, her teacher who regularly yells at her for being different and does not stop other students for teasing her in class. One day, Ms. Murphy gives a lesson about witches and how Juniper was one of the communities who burned the most witches in Scotland. Addie is horrified because she realizes these women were punished simply for being different, just like her. She sets on a campaign to get the community to set up a memorial for these women. She takes it to the City Council and is promptly told “no.” But with the help of her family, including her sister Katie who is also autistic, and her new friend Audrey, Addie is determined to keep fighting for those women to be remembered.

This was listened to on audiobook, and the narrator, Katy Townsend, reads this book primarily in a Scottish accent. She herself is from Glasgow.

This book allows the reader into Addie’s head to see what it’s like being neurodivergent. It also deals with ableism, bullying, and gives a historical background to the Scottish Witch Trials. This book is recommended for those in 4th grade and older.