ALONE, by Megan E. Freeman, Aladdin, Jan. 12, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 10 and up)
Megan E. Freeman’s Alone is an engrossing middle-grade debut about a girl who wakes up to find she’s the only person left her small Colorado town.
When 12-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? —Synopsis provided by Aladdin
I’m not usually drawn to novels written in verse, but Alone quickly drew me in. Author Megan E. Freeman’s prose is natural and inviting, and it lends itself well to both the intense and quiet moments.
Maddie is smart and resourceful. Her heartbreaking loneliness is tempered by glimmers of hope and light sprinkled throughout. Her story is compelling and makes you wonder if you’d be able to survive the way she does.
Alone is a fast read, you won’t want to put down — I read it in one sitting. Alone rings true and will appeal to a wide variety of older (ages 10 and up) middle graders. There is no doubt this book will be on my “favorites” list for 2021.
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