This month, add an uplifting novel to your bookshelf with Keith Stuart’s A Boy Made of Blocks. This debut novel is sure to tug at your heartstrings, making you laugh, cry and everything in between.
Drawing inspiration from Stuart’s own son, who was diagnosed as on the autism spectrum in 2012, A Boy Made of Blocks follows the story of Alex, a father facing an uncertain separation from his wife, Jody, the loss of his job as well as trying to learn how to father Sam, his eight-year-old autistic son. In many ways this novel starts like any other fiction with family relationship struggles. However, it quickly surprises the reader with a new perspective towards struggles we don’t often see.
Alex and Sam’s relationship is transformed by their shared adventures in the lego-like world of Minecraft, a hugely popular game. Through the gaming world, the pair’s communication totally changes, showcasing a positive side to an industry which has been labelled as anti-social. Ultimately, this novel is a warm and tender look at the tropes often associated with people on the autism spectrum with self-discovery, acceptance and love at the forefront.
Image Credit: Irish Examiner