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Perfect for fans of Hatchet and the I Survived series, this harrowing middle grade debut novel-in-verse from a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town.
When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone—left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.
With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.
As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?
I’ve been a fan of books in verse since Lisa Schroeder’s book Far From You. Freeman’s Alone flows as easily as Schroeder’s and is captivating. The 12- year-old MC, Maddie is stranded, left behind, with only a dog to keep her company. Against all odds, she must survive. Readers will want to know what she is up against, how she endures the elements, natural disasters and uncertainty. I loved Maddie’s grit and determination, as well a her decision to use the local library to research her options. Toward the end there a are beautiful references to poetry, hope begins to bloom.
Alone challenges readers to examine what they could and could not live without. We see the ultimate value of human contact. It leaves a message of resilience and nature’s ability to start over. In a time of pandemic, the author asks us to assess what really is highest in the hierarchy of needs.
Content: guns, violence. There is one scene which us particularly disturbing. Parents and teachers will want to pre-read.
Thanks so much to Aladdin for the captivating read.
About the Author
Megan E. Freeman attended an elementary school where poets visited her classroom every week, and she has been a writer ever since. She writes middle grade and young adult fiction. Megan is also a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet. An award-winning teacher with decades of classroom experience, Megan taught multiple subjects across the arts and humanities to students of all ages. She lives near Boulder, Colorado. Visit her online at MeganEFreeman.com.