A Boy made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

I started reading A Boy made of Blocks on the day we all woke up to the horrendous news about the Manchester terrorist attack. I’d intended to read a thriller, but I felt so upset by what had happened in Manchester that I just couldn’t face anything dark and scary, even though thrillers are my absolute favourite books.

So I read A Boy made of Blocks instead. It was a book I was vaguely aware of and had vaguely heard good things about, so I thought it was worth giving it a go.

It is the story of 30-something dad, Alex, who is struggling with work, his relationship with his wife, Jody, and most of all with his autistic son, Sam. Alex just doesn’t understand Sam and is scared to be left alone with him because he can’t cope with his meltdowns. But then they find a place where they can both be together, happy and learn from each other – Minecraft.

The more they play, the closer Alex and Sam become and the more they grow to understand each other.

This is a very moving book, with some emotional back stories, as well as the central story of Alex and Sam’s relationship. It’s safe to say that the ending was almost perfect and I spent the last 40 pages or so in tears.

The story was inspired by the author’s own family life – he too has an autistic son and they were able to connect through Minecraft. So while a work of fiction, it is entirely believable. I have no experience of autism, but I would be interested to know what parents of autistic children, or autistic people themselves, thought of A Boy made of Blocks.

If you like a story about family life and enjoy shedding a few tears when you read, I can highly recommend Keith Stuart’s debut novel.

A Boy made of Blocks, Book review, Keith Stuart

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Author: Sarah Mummy

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11 Comments

  1. I think I’d like this one! I’ve read a few thrillers recently and haven’t loved them. This sounds much more my sort of thing. I enjoyed the Curious Incident & Born on a Blue Day so I’m going to look this one up. Actually, I might buy it on Amazon now. Thanks for the recommendation!
    Nat.x

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    • If thrillers aren’t your thing, you will probably like this one. It’s very moving, but not in a slushy kind of way. I loved The Curious Incident. If you like stories which are about families, I would also recommend Shoes for Anthony. x

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  2. I’ve not heard of this before, sounds like an emotional read! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

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    • It’s an emotional and uplifting read, a bit different from what I’m used to, but I really enjoyed it.

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  3. I love the idea of a book where the characters come together through Minecraft. Certainly it brings children together, so I like the idea of it applied to a parent/child relationship.

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    • It’s amazing how Minecraft can be used in the real world to build relationships. I’m sure you would enjoy this book.

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  4. I think I’d like to read this. I sometimes wonder if son2 might be slightly on the spectrum. I don’t have any direct experience of autism although I do remember the issues a close friend went through getting her son diagnosed. #readwithme

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    • I’m sure you’d enjoy this book. I don’t have any experience of autism either, but it felt like it was written in a very sympathetic and non-judgemental way. I felt I learned something about autism, while also enjoying the story.

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  5. This sounds like a fascinating insight into a father / son relationship and it’s great that they found an activity that could help them bond 🙂

    #readwithme

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    • It’s a beautiful story and well worth a read!

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  6. Definitely one for my to read list, this sounds like a great story. I’ve worked with lots of children with autism and I’m always interested in hearing families stories. #readwithme

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