book review

A Boy Made of Blocks book review

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Today I’m taking part in a book blog tour for A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart which has recently been published in paperback. I heard about this book when it came out last year and was so excited to get my hands on a copy.

A bit about A Boy Made of Blocks:

MEET THIRTY SOMETHING 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… To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.

When Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other… When life starts to tear one family apart, can they put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

What did I think:

My 6-year-old adores Minecraft so I was hoping I might learn something about Minecraft whilst I read this book! You don’t need to understand anything about, just that it’s a really popular computer game. You also don’t need to be a parent  or have personal experience of autism to empathise with the story. A Boy Made of Blocks is a beautiful, funny and heartwarming story of family and love inspired by the author’s own experiences with his autistic son. It was really easy to read and I enjoyed it a lot. The ending was a little predictable but I still wanted to finish it and was so annoyed when we kept going to bed late and I was too tired to finish it!

In 2012 one of Keith Stuart’s two sons was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The ramifications felt huge. But then Keith and both boys started playing video games together – especially Minecraft. Keith had always played games and, since 1995, has been writing about them, first for specialist magazines like Edge and PC Gamer then, for the last ten years, as games editor for the Guardian. The powerful creative sharing as a family and the blossoming of communication that followed informed his debut novel.

I think that, like it or not, computer games have a place in modern family life. I rarely play anything, except sometimes a little Animal Crossing, but my husband and children love computer games. They play Minecraft together and I love the fact they have something to bond over. They plan tactics, talk about the things they want to try and can often be found poring over Minecraft books at bedtime. Although I have never tried Minecraft I’m happy to talk about it and reading A Boy Made of Blocks actually helped me understand a little more so I can get involved in the Minecraft conversations more often!

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart was published in paperback priced £7.99 on 5th January 2017. It is available from Amazon and all good book shops. I was gifted a complimentary copy for the purpose of this review.

You might be interested in our other Minecraft posts:

Gingerbread Iron Golem biscuits

Minecraft figure collection

Minecraft gift guide for kids

Gameband + Minecraft


  • Reply
    January 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Sounds like such a heartwelming book. I’m on the look for a new read soon, so might check this one out.


  • Reply
    Joanne Mallon
    January 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    What a great idea for a book! I’m another one with a Minecraft-loving son, seems there are a lot of us about.

  • Reply
    Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig -
    June 1, 2017 at 8:03 am

    […] have no experience of Autism at all, other than reading A Boy Made of Blocks which I read earlier this year. I don’t think that matters because as soon as I read the […]

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