Robin Roe is the author of the young adult novel A List of Cages, which focuses on a high school student who comes back into contact with his foster brother, whom he hasn't seen in many years. Roe has run a mentoring program for at-risk teens in Dallas and counseled adolescents in Boston. She notes that she incorporated experiences from her own life and the kids she's worked with as she wrote the novel.
Q: Did you know how the book would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?
A: Right away, I had a general sense of how the book would end, and I wrote the last line very early in the writing process.
Q: Who do you see as the ideal readers for this book, and what do you hope they take away from it?
A: I really see A List of Cages as a book for anyone.
When people experience abuse as children, it shapes the way they view themselves. There’s often this feeling that because bad things were done to you, then you must be bad. So I hope that any reader who’s gone through this can start to release shame about experiences that weren’t their fault.
On the flipside, if someone can’t personally relate to the abuse, I hope it encourages empathy, and an understanding that we have so much power to positively impact the lives of others.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb