The Spark: A Mother's Story Of Nurturing Genius

Hardcover | April 9, 2013

byKristine Barnett

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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 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'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.

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Every mother teaches her children they shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but few mothers have had to live that lesson like Kristine Barnett. When, at the age of two, her son Jake received diagnoses that progressed from Asperger’s to autism, doctors, teachers and therapists saw only the autism. Not Kristine. She saw a beautiful little boy...

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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 t...

KRISTINE BARNETT is the mother of Jacob Barnett and his 3 younger siblings. She runs a daycare that includes both typical and special-needs children. She is also the founder of MyJacobsPlace, a nonprofit organization designed to help children with autism, as well as an award-winning sports league for autistic children.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.52 × 6.37 × 1.08 inPublished:April 9, 2013Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307362795

ISBN - 13:9780307362797

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Customer Reviews of The Spark: A Mother's Story Of Nurturing Genius

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Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER  “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 “The book’s simple takeaway will resonate with parents of any stripe: Best outcomes often happen when we let our kids pursue their interests in as unfettered manner as possible, even if that simply means getting out of their way…. For anyone interested in the frontiers of the human intellect, it's a fascinating portrayal of an off-the-charts genius with a singular ability to combine savant-like mathematical skills and perfect memory with profound analytical thought.” —Emily Donaldson, The Globe and Mail “The extraordinary memoir of a mother’s love, commitment and nurturing. . . . Kristine Barnett’s story of what can happen when we keep our minds open to a child’s true potential informs our evolving perceptions of autism.” —The Bookseller (McNally Robinson)“The Spark describes in glowing terms the profound intensity with which a mother can love her child.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon and Far From the Tree “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 “With passion and grace, Barnett covers Jake’s transformation, how close he came to being ‘lost’ in a special ed system focused on what children ‘can’t do’. . . . This eloquent memoir about an extraordinary boy and a resilient and remarkable mother will be of interest to every parent and/or educator hoping to nurture a child’s authentic ‘spark.’”—Publishers Weekly “Every parent and teacher should read this fabulous book!” —Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and co-author of The Autistic Brain “After author Kristine Barnett’s son, Jacob, is diagnosed with autism, she makes a simple but radical discovery: that his innate interests are the key to freeing him. By facing down the experts’ assumptions about him—including a teacher who tells her to put away the alphabet cards because he will never learn to read—with the inspired decision to follow him where his mind longs to go, she is able to ignite his passions, and his genius. Jacob’s growth from the silent confines of his early autism diagnosis to his explosive understanding of astronomy, physics and math is thrilling, not only because his mind is so compelling but because Barnett herself thinks like a renegade, and a generous one. As the owner of a daycare center, she is able to apply her theory to numerous children, many who are brought long distances by their parents in order to bask in her unique vision, with startling results. This is a galloping story, full of the wonderfully messy complications of special needs, genius and Barnett-family life, full of heart. Anyone who has children or works with them, or simply wants to know an intrinsic truth about how we learn, will get something from The Spark.” —Maria Mutch, author of the forthcoming memoir Know the Night “[A] compelling memoir…Jake is unusual, but so is his superhuman mom.” —Booklist