A Boy Made Of Blocks by Keith Stuart
Published by Sphere
Expected publication 1 September 2016
I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Discover a unique, funny and moving debut that will make you laugh, cry and smile.
Meet thirtysomething dad, Alex
He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.
Meet eight-year-old Sam
Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.
But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other . .
Can one fragmented family put themselves back together, one piece at a time?
Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, A Boy Made of Blocks is an astonishingly authentic story of love, family and autism.
I am estranged.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I absolutely adored A Boy Made of Blocks. This is definitely one of my top books this year. I laughed and sobbed my way through every page. I just loved everything about this book. I thought the characters were great. They are so real they could step off the page. Alex is completely sympathetic and unbearably real. I loved the way the author portrayed his difficult relationship with Son and how he grew as a father throughout the book. He’s not completely likable at first. He has no idea how to connect with Sam and basically bails out at every opportunity. I sort of hated him at first for being spineless. As he starts to connect with Sam through Minecraft I grew too really like the character and rooted for him. Sam is a great character. The author handles Sam’s autism really well. I’ve read a couple of books with autistic characters but A Boy Made of Blocks is the best so far. At first, Alex and Jody don’t see Sam as a person with autism, they see autism as a problem that needs to be conquered and beaten into submission. As Sam starts to make friends and change they grow to realise how wonderful and unique their son is. I cried buckets, man, buckets! I really loved it when Sam starts to make friends and goes to the Minecraft competition. One scene that reduced me to tears is when Sam’s new friends blow up his Minecraft castle. This is an accident but Sam becomes withdrawn again and all of the steps he’s made look ready to disappear. His new friends come online and re-build the castle to show their sorry. This scene tugged at my heart-strings. A Boy Made of Blocks is absolutely brilliant.