desmond elliott 2017 debuts of the month Harry Potter House Eds
Search our site
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell Read the opening extract of the brand new Bernard Cornwell book before its publication on 19/10/2017

Reader Reviewed
A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
  

A Boy Made of Blocks

Relationship Stories   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   Literary Fiction   Reading Groups   

RRP £12.99

Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Relationship Tales Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

A brilliant debut from a fresh and unique voice, ‘A Boy Made of Blocks' is a book that will make you laugh, cry and think to yourself ‘thank goodness, it’s not just me!’ This wonderful book is one that every parent, every friend of a parent and every person who ever raised a judgemental eyebrow whilst witnessing a ‘difficult’ child should read.

Alex is reeling from life. He's left the family home and has never felt further from his wife and son. He loves them both dearly but parenthood can put a strain on any relationship and having an autistic son adds even more pressure. Sam, his beautiful yet unreachable son, is a problem that Alex is finding impossible to solve and whilst suffocating under the responsibility he feels towards his family Alex finally hits rock bottom.

Until that is Sam discovers Minecraft and so begins an adventure of a father finally finding a way to understand his son and maybe himself too.

I adored Keith Stuart’s writing style. It was fresh and honest but with no trace of bitterness. Some moments were so beautifully written they made my heart ache and moved me to tears. He captures so much in so few words and I came to love his characters and felt truly sad when I reached the final sentence. A beautiful debut that not only changed the way I look at autism and children considered ‘different’, but also the struggles we all face within our lives today.' ~ Shelley Fallows

September 2016 Debut of the Month.

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'It’s hard for me to be objective about A Boy Made of Blocks: it’s the book I most want people to read, partly because when they do, they universally love it. It both has massive commercial potential and is a singularly modern, heartfelt and meaningful piece of writing. It is absolutely not an ‘issues’ book, but a wonderful, funny, emotional story full of memorable characters, wit, and warmth. It’s the kind of novel people fall in love with – I certainly did – and has one of the most uplifting finales I can ever remember reading.' ~ Ed Wood, Editorial Director – Sphere Fiction

If you like Keith Stuart you might also like to read books by Ethel Rohan.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Helen Appleby - 'Inspired by the authors own experiences this novel will make you laugh and cry and is an amazing and authentic story of love, family life and autism. I couldn't put it down such a heartwarming read.'

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Whilst this is definitely a fiction book, it is a must for any parent with a child in their life on the autism spectrum. Powerful stuff.'

  • Emily Curnow - 'Not many books affect my emotions, but the conclusion of this one made tears stream down my face.'

  • Helen Claire - 'A phenomenal read, that is endearing and powerful. Not too proud to say I cried.'

  • Mary Gibson - 'I loved this novel. Based on the author's own experience of raising an autistic son, it is a love letter about family.'

  • Hannah Ward - 'Such an absorbing read! This is a story about grief, anger, regret, guilt and love.' 

  • Nicola Edwards - 'A beautifully moving story of the relationship between a father and his autistic son that is captivating and emotional. I loved it!'

  • Sarah Harper - 'Honest and intimate, it was as if I had joined the characters on their own emotional roller coaster and when I stepped off at the end I felt privileged to have had the opportunity.'

  • Victoria Halliday - 'A terrific, well-written and compelling novel about family relationships, and our ability to build connections with one another through the most unexpected of mediums.'

  • Jane Brown - 'A simply beautiful story of a father and autistic son who manage to unite through the modern world of computer gaming.'
  • Neil Williams - 'A fantastic tale of a father and son and the special bond between them...I laughed and cried through their ups and downs. The best book I've read in ages.'

Win a Set of 10 Bloomsbury Modern Classics!

This month Bloomsbury has launched a series of ten modern classics chosen from highlights of the publisher's last thiry years, each with an eye-catching, iconic illustrated cover - and we have a full set to give away!

The ten titles are Restless by William Boyd, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 6 November 2017. The winners will be notified by 20 November 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 06/11/2017

Synopsis

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

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.

Reviews

'Funny, expertly plotted and written with enormous heart. Readers who enjoyed The Rosie Project will love A Boy Made of Blocks - I did' Graeme Simsion

'Heartwarming, funny and special. I devoured this cracking book.' The Unmumsy Mum

'Very funny, incredibly poignant and full of insight. Awesome.' Jenny Colgan

'Warm and real, honest and heart-breaking, joyous and life-affirming. It has the lot.' Vanessa Greene

'Keith Stuart is a master at balancing humour alongside the serious. He has a light touch but also moves us deeply, and his characters are wonderfully real. Clever and full of insight.' Virginia Macgregor

About the Author

Keith Stuart

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 videogames 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, A Boy Made of Blocks: a story about a dad who wants to communicate with his autistic son; a dad who has forgotten how to play. It is a story about letting go, about being a kid - which is how Keith learned about everything important in his life, starting with his son.

Author photo © Ashley Bird

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2016

Author

Keith Stuart

More books by Keith Stuart
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Sphere an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Hardback
400 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780751563276

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

If you LOVE reading then you will love LOVEREADING! It's a 'novel' idea. Seriously though I could not recommend them enough.

Rebecca Whymark

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!

Lindsay

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools