A List of Cages is a gut-wrenching story told through the eyes of two boys — one who knows happiness and safety, and one who knows something else entirely. In a lot of ways, this book is like a YA version of Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life (and comparing something to that book is about the biggest compliment I can give). It's a portrait of abuse, yes, but also of friendship, family, and love. Recommended By Emily F., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.
First-time novelist Robin Roe relied on life experience when writing this exquisite, gripping story featuring two lionhearted characters.
“As inspiring as it is heartbreaking, A List of Cages is a hero story you will never forget.” Tamara Ireland Stone, best-selling author of Every Last Word
“A remarkably gripping and moving tale of a life saved—in more than one way—by the power of friendship.” Emma Donoghue, best-selling author of Room
"Roe draws from her work with at risk teens to create her first novel a psychologically taut tale of foster brothers unexpectedly reunited. The story alternates between the perspectives of Adam, the son of a social worker, and Julian, who lived at Adam’s house for a time after his parents died. Seven years later, Julian, who currently lives with his uncle, enters the same high school where Adam is a senior. Adam again finds himself playing the role of big brother to Julian, but besides having grown older, some things about Julian have changed: he’s quieter, his clothes don’t fit, and he seems to be sick too often. After drawing grim conclusions about Julian’s home life and guardian, Adam opts not to speak out—a decision that could have serious consequences. Roe gives a close up view of two teens with disabilities (Julian has dyslexia; Adam has been diagnosed with ADHD) while building a sharp contrast between their views of the world and sense of normalcy. Written with honesty and compassion this book will resonate with a wide range of readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Peter Steinberg Foundry Literary + Media. (Jan.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About 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 @robinroewriter.