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- ISBN-13: 9781484763803
- ISBN-10: 1484763807
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-17
- Reviewer: Staff
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 Adams 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: hes quieter, his clothes dont fit, and he seems to be sick too often. After drawing grim conclusions about Julians 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 12up. Agent: Peter Steinberg, Foundry Literary + Media. (Jan.)
My brother's keeper
BookPage Teen Top Pick, January 2017
Julian and Adam are friends turned brothers by way of tragedy. Though years apart in age and on opposite ends of the personality spectrum, the boys bond over their shared disabilities, their respect for one another’s differences and the fact that they save each other’s lives—more than once.
Adam is a charismatic high school senior with ADHD. Julian is his shy and sweet former foster brother, an incoming freshman with dyslexia. Prior to the start of school, the last time they’d seen each other was five years ago, when Julian’s parents died in a sudden and horrific car accident. Back then, Adam cared for Julian like an older, patient brother, helping him cope with his tragic loss. That was until Julian’s uncle showed up out of nowhere and ripped him from the safe and healthy life he’d had with his foster family. Julian’s strict uncle has no patience for his “odd” behavior, his quietness or his appreciation for children’s books. And even though everything looks fine to outsiders, all of Julian’s pain is boxed up and pushed beneath the surface. When Adam finally begins to notice the signs, it falls to him to save the sensitive Julian from a dangerous home.
Debut author Robin Roe drew from experiences counseling and mentoring at-risk teens to create A List of Cages. In the same vein as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this is a raw and eye-opening story, destined to spark important and necessary conversations.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Robin Roe for A List of Cages.
Justin Barisich is a freelancer, satirist, poet and performer living in Atlanta. More of his writing can be found at littlewritingman.com.