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A List of Cages Hardcover – January 10, 2017
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From the Publisher
Meet the Author
Robin Roe has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master's from Harvard. She counseled adolescents in Boston before she moved to Dallas, Texas to run a mentoring program for at-risk teens. This is her first novel. Follow Robin on Twitter at robinroewriter.
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Julian—shy, quiet, and nervous—has just entered high school, and it's a nightmare. Kids pick on him for the children's books that he keeps in his backpack; teachers berate him for not speaking up in class and for handing in near-illegible assignments because of his undiagnosed dyslexia. He hides away in the school theater at lunchtime just to get away from everything, and he has to go home to his tyrannical and abusive uncle, who beats him with a switch. His daily appointments with the school psychiatrist yield nothing but further anxiety, until one day, Julian discovers that Adam, his former foster brother, is the psychiatrist's intern. Adam's family took Julian in after his parents were killed in a car crash, but then his uncle stepped forward as his legal guardian, and Julian was taken away. Adam, a bright, popular senior with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, takes Julian under his wing and brings him out of his shell, and when Julian abruptly "falls ill" for two weeks, Adam and his friends suspect there is something much more sinister at hand. Roe, a social worker, has written a stunning debut about loss, friendship, and the power of family. Many scenes of abuse will challenge readers with authentic detail; Julian suffers regular beatings and is, at one point, locked in a chest without food. Emotional, visceral, and heartbreaking, this novel offers expertly rendered characters and beautiful language, especially when describing Julian's struggles. VERDICT A potent and moving work. Do not pass over this book.—Tyler Hixson, School Library Journal
“A remarkably gripping and moving tale of a life saved—in more than one way—by the power of friendship.” —Emma Donoghue, New York Times best-selling author of Room.
“A psychologically taut tale of foster brothers unexpectedly reunited... Written with honesty and compassion, this book will resonate with a wide range of readers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review.
“Emotion courses through every sentence of this novel, whether it is love, compassion, or bone-chilling cruelty. A triumphant story about the power of friendship and of truly being seen.”—Kirkus, starred review.
“A page-turner with a lot of compassion.”—Booklist, starred review.
“Robin’s writing is evocative and simply beautiful; the story is raw, emotional, thought provoking and powerful. Adam and Julian have permanent homes in my heart.” —Tamara Ireland Stone, New York Times best-selling author of Every Last Word and Time Between Us.
“A LIST OF CAGES ripped out my heart and then miraculously patched it back together. Really special. Look out for this one.”—Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Conviction.
“A LIST OF CAGES is a poignant, hopeful story about loss, grief, abuse, and the transformative power of friendship. Written with honesty and vulnerability, Robin Roe shows us exactly what it means to stand up for another person—how love and acceptance can heal even the deepest of wounds.”—Amber Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Way I Used to Be.
Top customer reviews
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Lady Roe, you have a fan for life.
I always wonder what magic formula authors use to make readers immediately care about their characters. Robin Roe does a particularly good job of that in this heart-wrenching yet charming novel centered around the friendship between two teen boys who each deal with challenging personality quirks. The "supporting characters" are interesting as well. Watch out for Charlie, he's a sleeper and provides just the right touch of comic relief! I can't help but think what a great sidekick role his character would make for a young actor when this story gets translated to film.
There were several lines that were so beautiful, succinct, and full of emotional depth they took my breath away. Among them: "People I love will be watching me. Their eyes like safety nets, I can't fall."
Buy this book, read it, and share it with your friends.
This book was absolutely incredible. When I started reading, I could not put it down. Once I had finished the story, I sat here in front of my computer desperately trying to find the right words to write my review... It's not that I'm speechless, exactly. It's just that there is so much I adored about this book, and so much that I had a hard time reading, but I don't want to give anything away.
If you are reading this, please go pick up this book. It's such a emotional rollercoaster, but I could not recommend it any higher.
First of all, I need to say that I think this author is absolutely incredible. Her writing is so beautiful and real. She writes the story from a duel narrative, which I have to say I don't usually like. But in this case, I thought it was beyond perfect. Everything just flowed so well. And I loved that I kept pausing to write down quotes I enjoyed. I will definitely be on the lookout for any book that Robin Roe publishes in the future.
The storyline itself was heartbreaking, but also very moving. It is one that I know I will never forget. There were scenes that made me feel so warm and so happy, but others were horrifying and made me sick, while others still made me feel truly afraid. There are so many very important topics that are discussed in this book, ranging from child abuse and trauma, friendship and growth, even to ADHD and the use of homeopathic remedies.
And the kindest.... The kindness in this book was incredibly awe-inspiring. I seriously want this book to reach the hands of every single person out there.
I have never loved characters in a book so quickly or so wholeheartedly. They were all so well developed and seemed so realistic! The majority of them were absolutely lovely, though one was downright wicked. I was immediately drawn to the two main characters, Adam and Julian. Very early on, I realized that I felt really protective of them, like they were my own little brothers. Adam was so thoughtful and clumsy, while Julian was shy and had a true heart of gold. I thought that all of Adams friends were incredible as well. I loved how kind and supportive they all were.
There was a very slight romance, but I thought it was lovely. I really enjoyed that these two characters seemed to have a real bond, not just your typical insta-love we seem to get in most YA books.
I would highly recommend this book. It is a must read for everyone.
I don't want to say that I enjoyed this story because it is very sad. But there are moments when Julian is happy and surrounded by people that care about him that I was really enjoying those moments for him. There is just so much sadness and pain in his life that it is very hard not feel happy for him when he gets a good day.
The friendship between Adam and Julian was amazing and beautiful. Adam seemed to know what to do/say to bring Julian out of his shell a little bit or get him to admit to things that he wanted to do but wouldn't say out loud.
I loved that this was a novel about brotherhood and friendship. That all of the characters in here are so deeply compassionate and care for one another (with a few notable exceptions). But they made their group of friends seem like a family and I can really connect with that and understand that.
Beautiful and touching. 5 stars.