Video games have long been an important part of my life – socialising, exploring worlds with rules that I can follow easier, forming friendships with fictional characters that almost feel real (Alistair from Dragon Age Origins will always have my heart).
Needless to say I was excited to learn about a book following a father and autistic son bonding through a video game world.
Alex is not doing great. He’s just walked out on his wife Jody and autistic son Sam, who he barely knows. He’s just lost his job (or he will within about 1 chapter). His sister is somewhere around the world, he barely speaks to his mum and he cannot escape the death of his brother, George.
But in a desperate attempt to not spend the rest of his life on his best mate’s leaking air mattress, Alex picks up the autism books and a guide on Minecraft, which his son seems to be interested in. Soon he is drawn into the world of Minecraft, where he and Sam build their own castle and go on adventures to find the Crown Jewels. Alex starts the novel as incredibly misinformed on both autism and his son, and navigates his way with Sam’s guidance to understanding, supporting him and helping his son grow.
A Boy Made of Blocks is a beautiful novel of learning, connecting through play and moving forwards. It is a story of family, fatherhood, friendship and partnership. It is a story of living in the present.
I must admit I did shed many a tear at the big event at the end.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me because I’m trying to convince my partner Tim to start up a new Minecraft game with me…
Interested? Buy it here!
Want to know what else I’ve read about autism or features autistic characters? Check out The Essential Autie Book List.
What to read next:
Thank you kindly to the team at Sphere and Little Brown Books for sharing this with me.