List of Cages
by Roe, Robin

"Adam,a high school senior, rescues Julian, a freshman, from an abusive situation"-

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.

*Starred Review* Fourteen-year-old Julian is a damaged boy, taciturn and withdrawn, painfully shy and still bereft from the death of his parents when he was a child. A poor student with illegible handwriting, he is often the subject of teachers' scorn and classmates' teasing. As a result, he regularly skips classes to hide in a secret room he has found. His home life is even worse: he is the ward of his uncle by marriage, a cold, distant, dangerous man who often punishes Julian cruelly, whipping him with a switch and lacerating the skin on his torso. Things begin to gradually change when he encounters Adam, a teenager who had once been Julian's foster brother before the uncle took custody. Adam, who had ADHD as a child, is still a restless but exuberant, happy presence, beloved by fellow students and teachers alike. When he unofficially adopts Julian, he brings light into the boy's hitherto dark existence, though danger still lurks. The two boys tell their respective, affecting stories in first-person voices that perfectly reflect their characters and rive the story's compelling action. Roe's debut may lack subtlety, but it makes up for it with memorable characters and high drama. A page-turner with a lot of compassion. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

In her debut, Roe tells the story of a friendship between two young men who will linger in the thoughts and minds of readers long after the final page is turned. Told through alternating first-person narration, the story of 14-year-old Julian and his former foster brother, 18-year-old Adam, is equally heartwarming and heartbreaking. Five years after losing his parents in a tragic accident and being taken from a loving foster home to live with a cold and brutal uncle, Adam Blake quite literally walks back into Julian's life. Plagued by antsy feet courtesy of his ADHD, Adam is happy to be assigned the job of escorting Julian to the counseling sessions that he's been frequently skipping. Though both boys are thrilled to be reunited, there's an uneasiness that lies between them. Reclusive and wracked with self-doubt, Adam quickly realizes that this Julian is much different from the one he used to know. Roe deliberately unspools her story, keeping readers wondering why Julian, who clearly desperately craves connection, keeps Adam at arm's length. Emotion courses through every sentence of this novel, whether it is love, compassion, or bone-chilling cruelty. Julian and Adam are dark-haired but otherwise racially indeterminate. A triumphant story about the power of friendship and of truly being seen. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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