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Book cover of A Boy made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks is an original book by Keith Stuart published in English in 2016.

Minecraft is a computer game similar to playing with blocks. We have at our disposal dozens of different cubic blocks that make up the virtual world. We can extract these blocks, process them and build tools, equipment or complex constructions out of them. The game has many dimensions and possible strategies, we can build and construct, breed and collect, discover or fight monsters. In one way, we create the world ourselves. Monsters, however, can take away experience points, such as Creeper, which quietly approaches the player, and when it is close enough explodes destroying the player and all surrounding blocks. Such an invisible Creeper destroyed the life of Alex, the narrator in the book “Block Boy”.

Thirty-three-year-old Alex doesn’t know how to deal with the problems in his marriage. Instead of committing himself more, he escapes into work. His autistic son arouses in him an explosive mixture of anger, frustration, helplessness and guilt. Eventually Alex’s wife, Jody, decides on a trial separation. Alex’s life is turned upside down overnight, and to make matters worse he loses his job. Thanks to his friends, he manages to survive the most difficult moments and finds the motivation to rebuild his life. He starts by creating a better relationship with his son. Minecraft comes to his aid. What was too difficult and complicated for the boy in the real world, he manages to work through easily in the virtual, ordered world of cubes. Alex rediscovers his child, and for the first time has the opportunity to observe Sam’s creativity, enthusiasm and joy. This is a completely new experience for both father and son. It gives Alex the strength to deal with a traumatic past and is the first step towards building a new life.

Keith Stuart has created in the book a picture of the everyday life that accompanies families raising an autistic child. The book is all the more authentic as the author was inspired by his own experiences. He also has an autistic son.

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