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A Boy Made of Blocks
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A Boy Made of Blocks

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19021146,161 (4.18)1
"Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world's most uncomfortable blow-up bed. As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam's imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one. Inspired by Keith Stuart's own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most of all, true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy"--… (more)
Member:tarsel
Title:A Boy Made of Blocks
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Info:Publisher Unknown
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
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A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is a nice easy to read book about Alex and his 8 year old son Sam who has Autism.
Set in Bristol Main character is Alex is now separated from Jody, Sam's Mum she kicked him out the family home. Alex used to avoid bringing Sam up as he had issues coping with his moods and tantrums.

Alex moves into his old friend Dan's flat, Alex has issues of his own he has just been made redundant from a job he hated and he has never came to terms with the death of his older brother George when he was younger.
Alex bonds with Sam over Minecraft.
Emma who is Alex absent sister who went travelling returns to the UK, Dan likes her and has for years.
Alex and Emma's Mum has a stroke just before Sam enters a Mine craft competition in London.
They make it to the competition in the nick of time. Sam has come along way and Minecraft and Alex's patience has really helped him.
Alex wants to get back with Jody and also buy a Cafe they used to visit that has now shut. Good easy to read book. ( )
  Daftboy1 | May 23, 2023 |
This book was a little unusual for my tastes, but somehow I started reading it, and got involved. It's pretty slow starting out with no apparent promise to get better. The main character, Alex, was not a very likable guy, and his wife asked him to leave for a while, so he left his wife and autistic son to move in with his best friend.

His son, Sam, has always been a problem for them, being unpredictable, uncommunicative, and complaining about seemingly minor things. So, Alex coped by working too much and letting Jody, his wife, take care of the problems with Sam. His excuse was that he was too busy making the money needed to support them. But when he lost his job, he had no more excuse although he still tried to avoid any responsibility for Sam. He simply did not know how.

But I could tell that he was a good guy underneath it all, so I was interested in what was going to happen to him. And the writing made it fun reading, with some good ol' British humour mixed in to keep it interesting until it got interesting on its own. A lot happens in this book; some of it is sad, some of it is happy, some is fun, some is not. It's all pretty emotional, so leave your macho-ness at the door if you have any - I don't, so I was able to appreciate it.

It's funny, but the mother of Alex and his sister Emma was considered a problem by them; however, she was one of my favorite characters. Her outlook and sense of humor was very refreshing and honest to me. Fortunately, they all seemed to reconcile near the end.

This was a feel-good book, which is not for everyone, but perhaps it should be. It's a nice change from some of the dark mysteries I've read, and I'd recommend it to anyone. ( )
  MartyFried | Oct 9, 2022 |
Lovely, feel good story. Slightly wordy towards the end, but all the threads are very satisfyingly dealt with. Recommended. ( )
  tarsel | Sep 4, 2022 |
Let me say upfront: my pet peeve is comps that aren't actually comps. The Rosie Project and A Boy Made of Blocks both have autistic characters, but in my opinion, that's where the resemblance ends.

At the start, Sam's dad Alex is a pretty unlikeable character - selfish and childish, and overwhelmed by his parenting duties. However, as the story unfolded and we learned more about his past and we see his attempts to connect, the plot deepens and my feelings for him softened. As Alex begins to embrace his role, his responsibilities and find his way back to his son, I found myself unable to put the book down.

In the end, it won me over. ( )
  jenncaffeinated | Jul 4, 2021 |
No amount of words will ever do this book justice. I simply can't stop thinking or talking about it and, although it's only a few weeks into the year, I can guarantee that A Boy Made of Blocks will appear in my top reads of 2017.

This is a book that very quietly worked its way into my heart. I was upset and disappointed in Alex at first - how could he leave his wife, Jody, to cope on her own and how could he walk away from his beautiful son, Sam? Having never experienced autism, it's probably easy for me to say. Getting to know Alex, it's what he does - run away from things. So does his sister, Emma, for that matter - planning her next adventure around the world to avoid spending time at home. Alex and Emma's brother, George, died when he was just a child and it's certainly something that Alex has never gotten over. I don't think Alex even realises just how much George's death still impacts on his family life.

Alex doesn't know how to communicate or connect with his autistic son, Sam. Then one day Sam discovers the computer game Minecraft and Alex buys a copy to learn how to play it. Alex is having a little play around when he notices Sam online. Hearing Sam's voice through the headphones in 'Sam and Daddy's world' left me with an ache in my heart and a huge grin on my face. As father and son build their castle they forge a connection that Alex would never have dreamed of, culminating in a trip to London for a Minecraft competition that left me in floods of tears.

I would recommend that A Boy Made of Blocks is published with waterproof pages; I've cried at books before but never to this extent. A couple of chapters from the end, I had to put the book down to dry my eyes and that's the only good reason to put this book down at all. It's an absolutely amazing story - think of any word to describe something magnificent, flawless and breathtaking and it goes part way towards describing the deeply moving triumph that is A Boy Made of Blocks.

Do not hesitate, just go out and buy this book - Ok, GO!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion. ( )
  Michelle.Ryles | Mar 9, 2020 |
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"Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world's most uncomfortable blow-up bed. As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam's imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one. Inspired by Keith Stuart's own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most of all, true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy"--

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