Inclusive publisher Knights Of has snapped up a "moving and inspiring" début middle-grade novel from editor and former bookseller, Elle McNicoll.
To be published on the 4th June 2020, A Kind of Spark (£6.99, paperback original) tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. World rights were acquired by editorial director Eishar Brar from Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.
"Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard?," reads the synopsis. "A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, Addie’s story was born from McNicoll’s own experiences of neurodiversity (ND) and her commitment to seeing greater representation in children’s books."
Brar said: “We’re really honoured to be publishing Elle’s début–as well as being a beautifully written gem, A Kind of Spark has heaps of heart. Everyone has been moved to tears by Addie’s strength of spirit; we cannot wait to bring this inspiring novel to young readers around the world.”
McNicoll added: “I wrote this book for my 11-year-old self. I found the courage to finish it after my Masters research revealed that 0.05% of protagonists in children’s books are neurodivergent. I never dreamed anyone would publish it, and knew that if Knights Of turned it down, it would go back in the drawer. They are the perfect publisher for A Kind of Spark and I will never get over the fact that they said yes. This book is about the tenacity of ND children, and all of the realities of their diagnosis, good and bad. My dream is for both children and adults to understand more about neurodiversity. I cannot express how proud and anxious and thrilled I am that Addie is soon to be introduced to the world. I hope they like her.”