Panther Reads

'A List of Cages'


McKenzie Tucker

In this segment of “Panther Reads,” Starr’s Mill English teacher Dr. Bonnie Stanford shares the heart-wrenching young adult novel “A List of Cages.” This book covers heavy topics such as mental health and abusive families.

Featured this week on “Panther Reads” is Dr. Bonnie Stanford, a Starr’s Mill English teacher who recently finished “A List of Cages” by Robin Roe.

This contemporary young adult novel dives into the world of high school student Adam Blake, who serves as an assistant to his school’s psychologist. When the psychologist asks Adam to keep tabs on another student that has been skipping out on the counseling sessions, Adam realizes he’s in for a more complicated year. 

“It covers quite a few topics,” Stanford said. “Grief, when a loved one has passed away, but the main character is a high school student who’s dealing with having to live in foster care.”

Stanford heard about this novel from other high school English teachers via Twitter. She chose this book because she thought it would be a nice recommendation to share with her classes.

“I liked it because I think all of the characters in it you can relate to,” Stanford said. “You can see yourself in each of the people and each of the stories they are going through.” 

Stanford recommends this novel to anyone over the age of 14 due to the heavier topics the book covers. The subjects covered, according to Stanford, are critical when it comes to understanding other people and the things they may have to endure. 

No stranger to serious themes, Roe’s novel focuses heavily on mental health and the different effects it can have on a person. From the hardships of life in the foster care system to the reignited friendship between two former foster brothers, this novel is an emotional roller-coaster.