by Megan E. Freeman
January 2021 – Aladdin / Simon & Schuster (US)

Megan E. Freeman is a Pushcart-Prize nominated poet.

A survival story for our times, telling the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town. Written in sparse verse to reflect the character’s isolation and loneliness, ALONE is a powerful novel of strength and perseverance.

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?

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


“The lengths to which resourceful Maddie must go in order to survive feel realistic, and Freeman’s well-paced verse magnifies significant and harrowing moments.” —Publishers Weekly

“Freeman’s middle-grade debut starts with a wallop and carries on from there… sweeping down spare pages in thin lines of verse in this Hatchet for a new age. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and brief enough to engage even reluctant readers.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“The novel is gripping and the plot fast-paced… This is a tense, engrossing survival story on par with classics such as Hatchet.”–Booklist

“Realistic fiction fans will appreciate the thoughtful use of language that hints at Maddie’s introspection and evolution, and survival buffs will appreciate her creativity as she resolutely addresses each new emergency.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books