Reviewed by Louise Wykes
A father who rediscovers love
Alex loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn't understand him. He needs a reason to grab his future with both hands.
A son who shows him how to live
Meet eight-year-old Sam: beautiful, surprising - and different. To him the world is a frightening mystery. But as his imagination comes to life, his family will be changed . . . for good.
A Boy Made of Blocks may be one of the sweetest, most life affirming books I have ever had the privilege to read. It opens with the marriage of Alex and Jody disintegrating due to the pressure of raising their child Sam who has autism. Alex leaves the family home and ends up bunking in his friend Dan’s spare room. It is quite clear early on that Alex has not really dealt with the stress that his son’s extra needs have upon the family unit and although he is desperately in love with Jody and Sam – it is clear that something needs to change drastically for them to be able to find a place where they can live with each other again.
The writing in this book is pitch perfect, there is warmth and humour spilling from the pages and as a reader I felt so compellingly drawn to Alex (even when he makes mistakes) and willing him to be able to find some happiness out of such a sad situation.
I personally have no experience with a child on the autism spectrum so the insights into the struggles and joys of having a child who finds it hard to comprehend the strange and sometimes scary world around them were very enlightening. It was also interesting to see the battles that parents of autistic children face just so their child can enjoy the life that many children take for granted.
All I can say is please read this book if you want to step into a world that is as lovingly crafted and executed as the most perfect game of Minecraft which itself plays an important role in the book. Truly magnificent.