Author: Megan E. Freeman
Reviewed by Chloe Fuksa, Putnam Six Bookstore
April is National Poetry Month, so there’s no better time to pick up Alone, the middle grade debut novel of author Megan E. Freeman. Alone, a 2023 Oklahoma Sequoyah book, is a novel-in-verse, meaning it is a complete story, just told in poetry form. The book comes in right at 400 pages, and while that may seem daunting, it can easily be read in just a couple of sittings given the style of writing.
Maddie is a 12-year-old girl in Colorado who has played her divorced parents off each other in order to have a secret sleepover. Her friends end up being unable to make it, but Maddie still goes to her grandparents’ vacant apartment. When she wakes up the next day, she is entirely alone. There has been a mass evacuation event overnight due to an imminent threat, but Maddie slept through it and each of her parents think she is safe with the other one. Before long, Maddie doesn’t have cell service, internet access, running water, or gas and electricity. She does at least have a super sweet dog, George, though, for a companion. For well over three years, they must survive, through blistering hot summers and freezing cold winters, scavenging for food and water and supplies from houses and stores. Maddie is forced to mature very quickly, but even with the dangerous looters and wild animals, it’s the loneliness that is the biggest threat.
The one complaint with Alone is that the ending comes much too quickly and doesn’t offer anywhere near enough of an explanation. The story as a whole though is absolutely engrossing. You can easily forget where you are and what day it is. The style of the book means you’ll be flipping pages pretty quickly already, but the suspense will have you turning them even faster. Overall, Alone is a wonderful female-led survival story that shows kids that courage and perseverance can overcome even the toughest challenges.
Visit us in Sunset Plaza or call 580-297-5089 to get your copy of Alone today!