A heartbreaking and stunning book that explores the meaning of friendship and the power of kindness, A List of Cages by Robin Roe is an early 2017 debut that is not to be missed.
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.
This book was a doozy, man – but OH! It is so, so good. Let me count the ways for you.
1. Emotional Heavyweight Champ. There are some parts of this book that are so extremely difficult to get through, just because the subject matter and the context of what is happening is so horrifying and heartbreaking. A List of Cages deals with some extreme examples of child abuse, and these scenes are really hard to read. But they’re also so important, and so thoughtfully portrayed. Roe is doing a great service to readers everywhere by not shying away from the nastiness. I don’t cry often when I read, but I sobbed quietly through much of this book, and I’m so glad I made it through. This was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever had reading a book, but the ultimate reward was so worth it — not to mention the bigger picture importance of this story, and its message.
2. Friendship Triumphs. More than anything, A List of Cages demonstrates beautifully the power of friendship – true, genuine friendship. Roe shows how friendship can save us in so many different ways. How friends look out for each other, honor each other’s wishes, and sometimes disregard those wishes when the stakes are too high. How friendship can blossom in unexpected ways. And how friendship can change you for the better; bring out your best self, help see you through the darkest times and greatest obstacles, and be there to cheer you on as you cross the finish line. Friendship is the true hero of this book.
3. The Power of Kindness. If friendship is the hero of A List of Cages, then kindness is the spunky sidekick. There’s a beautiful quote in the book that goes:
Hate ricochets, but so does kindness.
A List of Cages demonstrates how kindness grows; how it’s contagious in the best way possible. How kindness to someone who is jealous of you can translate to a love and caring so strong, that someone would risk their life for yours. That kindness saves.
A List of Cages is one of those heartbreaking, breathtaking, life-changing books; the kind that knock you off your feet and make you want to champion it to everyone you know. This book … A List of Cages is an important book, but it’s also a beautifully written and lovingly crafted homage to the strength we find in our friends and the ultimate power of kindness. Look for it in stores January 10th.
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Praise for A List of Cages:
“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
“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 poignant, hopeful story about loss, grief, abuse, and the transformative power of friendship.”
—Amber Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Way I Used to Be
* “A triumphant story about the power of friendship and of truly being seen.”
—Kirkus Reviews starred review
* “A page-turner with a lot of compassion.”
—Booklist starred review
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.
- two (2) copies of A List of Cages, one for the winner to keep and the other to gift to a friend.
Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion. Contest open through midnight (PT) on Wednesday, December 7th.
To enter this contest, tell us in the comments what you think it means to be a friend, and the power of friendship in your life. Then fill out the Rafflecopter form to complete your entry & earn more chances to win.