Alone by Megan E. Freeman
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Taking advantage of her divorced parents, Maddie convinces her mom she is staying with her dad and vice versa in order to pull off a sleepover at her grandparents’ empty apartment. In the morning, she awakes to find she is alone. The entire town, including her family, have been evacuated and stripped of all forms of communication. Maddie has no other option but to fend for herself, living off what the town left behind. With only George the Rottweiler for companionship, Maddie survives a fire, flood, tornado, and several harsh winters in her quest to stay alive and one day see her family again.
Alone is written in first-person verse which gives the book a conversational flow despite featuring only one character. The book is separated into chunks that evoke emotions mirroring Maddie’s experience, so while the situation may not be relatable, the feelings are common to all teens. Teens will read until the end to see if Maddie reunites with humanity and if the mysterious evacuation will be explained.
Alone has crossover appeal for teens who like realistic books or dystopian scenarios. It is a good pick for those who liked The Trail by Meika Hashimoto or Wild Robot by Peter Brown, but are not yet ready for Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarod Shusterman.
–Diana Ford, Baltimore, MD
Other Nominated Titles
- The Is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey (February 2, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.