[Book Review] The Spark by Kristine Barnett


See that little boy on the cover. That’s Jacob Barnett. And he’s a genius. When I picked up this memoir, written by Kristine Barnett, Jacob’s Mother, I didn’t know that I would be inspired by a little boy and his family, but that was certainly the case. As a young child, it was evident to Kristine and Michael Barnett that their first born was different than other children. When they learned that he was diagnosed with severe autism, their lives took a different turn than they’d originally planned. It seemed at first that Jacob’s possibilities were restricted, he had no language capabilities and often carried around a pack of alphabet cards. But with time and a focused learning plan, Jacob’s future took on a whole new meaning.

Of course, this path didn’t happen overnight and Kristine Barnett (and her husband) had a long journey to help create a new life for their children. That’s right, while they were learning a new way to communicate with Jacob, they had two more children. Children that had their own health problems. That being said, it was Kristine and Michael’s vision to have a house full of children so they created a life full of love and happiness adapting the vision along the way.

It was discovered as Jacob was growing older that his reading and learning skills were above the capabilities of the average person. They were so extraordinary, that by age thirteen,  Jacob has become a paid researcher in quantum physics, working on extending Einstein’s theory of relativity. Did you read that right? A PAID RESEARCHER IN QUANTUM PHYSICS. As I read this remarkable story, I applauded his parents for making such great strides in learning to allow their child to take paths they never imagined possible.

The Spark is a story of a Mother’s love and affection for her son and her children. The amount of strides and efforts she makes to create a life full of possibility for her children knows no bounds and it’s apparent on every page of this wonderful memoir. Take some time out of your day and watch the video below to get better aquatinted with Jacob’s story.


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