Summary and book reviews of A List of Cages by Robin Roe

A List of Cages

by Robin Roe

A List of Cages by Robin Roe X
A List of Cages by Robin Roe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2017, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

First-time novelist Robin Roe relied on life experience when writing this exquisite, gripping story featuring two lionhearted characters.

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.

ONE
JULIAN

THERE IS A room in this school that no one knows about but me. If I could teleport, I'd be there now. Maybe if I just concentrate—

"Julian." Mr. Pearce says my name sharp enough to make me flinch. "You're less than a month into high school, and you've missed your English class six times."

I'm sure I've missed more than that, but I guess no one realized I was gone.

The principal leans forward, two fists wrapped around his tall, twisted cane. It has a little creature carved at the top, and I've heard other kids talk about it, wondering if it's a gnome or troll or a tiny replica of Mr. Pearce himself. This close, I can see the resemblance.

"Look at me!" he shouts.

I'm not sure why people want you to look at them when they're angry with you. That's when you want to look away the most. But when I do what he says, the windowless office seems to shrink, and I shrink along with it. A microscopic boy underneath Mr. Pearce's gaze.

"...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Robin Roe has written one helluva young adult debut novel. Alternating first person narratives by a couple of adolescent boys striving to be and do the right thing in a world seemingly ill-suited to their needs feels all too familiar. And Roe’s professional experience as a former counselor imbues the story with jarring grimness, taking an unblinking, behind-the-headlines look at child abuse.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (694 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. 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

Booklist
Starred Review. A page-turner with a lot of compassion.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A triumphant story about the power of friendship and of truly being seen.

Author Blurb Amber Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Way I Used to Be
A poignant, hopeful story about loss, grief, abuse, and the transformative power of friendship

Author Blurb Tamara Ireland Stone, best-selling author of Every Last Word
As inspiring as it is heartbreaking, A List of Cages is a hero story you will never forget.

Author Blurb Emma Donoghue, best-selling author of Room
A remarkably gripping and moving tale of a life saved - in more than one way - by the power of friendship.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Child Welfare Services - Falling Through the Cracks

Children's' HandsIn A List of Cages, even though fourteen-year-old Julian displays all the symptoms of an abused child – missing school, frequent lies, keeping friends at arm's length, poor grades, etc. – he doesn't receive the attention he needs from his teachers or his school district's social services. The authorities ask the wrong questions, pay too little attention to subtle physical signs of neglect/abuse, and seem clueless about communicating with children.

Even as I write this there is a headline in the 1 January 2017 Chicago Tribune that relates a horrific story about eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez who was tortured, beaten, burned, starved and then eventually died in 2013. The article mentions disciplinary action for ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked A List of Cages, try these:

  • The Place Between Breaths jacket

    The Place Between Breaths

    by An Na

    Published 2018

    About this book

    From master storyteller and Printz Award–winning author An Na comes a dark, intensely moving story of a girl desperately determined to find a cure for the illness that swept her mother away, and could possibly destroy her own life as well.

  • The Memory of Light jacket

    The Memory of Light

    by Francisco X. Stork

    Published 2017

    About this book

    More books by this author

    16-year-old Vicky Cruz wakes up in a hospital's mental ward after a failed suicide attempt. Now she must find a path to recovery - and perhaps rescue some others along the way.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.