The Spark

A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The extraordinary memoir of a mother's love, commitment and nurturing, which allowed her son, originally diagnosed with severe autism, to flourish into a universally recognized genius--and how any parent can help their child find their spark.
     Today, at 13, Jacob is a paid researcher in quantum physics, working on extending Einstein's theory of relativity. Diagnosed at age 1 with severe autism, at 3 he was assigned to life-skills classes and his parents were told to adjust their expectations. The goal: tying his own shoes at 16. Kristine Barnett's belief in the power of hope and the dazzling possibilities that can occur when we keep our minds open and learn to fuel a child's true potential changed everything.


 "The Spark is about the transformative power of unconditional love. If you have a child who's 'different'--and who doesn't?--you won't be able to put it down." --Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
"In this incredibly moving memoir, Kristine Barnett shares her family's journey with Jacob's autism. A story about one mother's unrelenting faith and determination, it's required reading for anyone who's ever been told they can't." --Chatelaine
"Not only does The Spark give us insights into the fantastically complex world of autism and its effect on families, but it's a galloping read, full of heart and self-deprecating humour." --Marcia Kaye, Toronto Star