Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

How I Heard About It:  After seeing a post by Donalyn Miller on Twitter about this novel, I added it to my TBR list.  I actually put in an order on Amazon and put this title in that order.  The other night I started the book and then spent most of my afternoon finishing it today.  I could not put it down.  

What It Is About:  Julian and Adam.  Adam and Julian.  Adam is a senior.  Julian is a freshman.  Adam has lots of friends, lots of energy, and lots going for him.  Julian is a loner, quiet, and not real sure of himself.  After losing both his parents to an accident, Julian becomes a foster child with Adam and his mother.  After a bit of time, he has to "leave" and go live with his uncle.  He believes he is leaving for one reason and Adam believes he is leaving for another reason.  Years later, these two boys "run" into each other at the local high school.  Julian has a lot to hide and tries to keep his distance from Adam.  Adam doesn't make this easy when he befriends him and makes sure he makes his counseling sessions with the therapist at school.  The beginning of their friendship is solely based on school interactions, but as time goes on Adam includes Julian in his life, his friendships, and back to his home.  All the while Julian is living with a "hell" at home with his uncle that he works extremely hard to hide from everyone.  It takes Adam a bit of time, but he begins to get a notion that something is not right with Julian, his uncle, and the private life they are living behind closed doors.  Adam makes it his mission to save Julian while Julian does everything in his power to keep his secrets safe in his own mind.  

What I Thought Of It:  WOW!  This was such an incredible read.  I read most of the book this afternoon in one sitting because I could not put it down.  The story was heart-wrenching, powerful, disturbing, and extremely meaningful.  I can't remember ever reading about two male characters that had such heart, soul, and extreme presence.  There were many moments during the reading when I had to stop, take a moment, and let the "deepness" sink in.  The writing was exquisite, the characters were developed fully and the story telling was at its best.  I could not read these pages fast enough.  

Who Should Read It:  This is a definite read for high-school readers and above.  The subject matter is "mature" during different portions of the story.  The plot is raw, real, and upsetting at times.  The reader should be one that can handle difficult moments that both fiction and real life can offer.  I highly recommend this book to adult readers because I know they will devour it as much as I did.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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