Cover art by Pascal Campion
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?
"This exciting story of tenacity, determination, and ingenuity is hard to put down, and thank heavens nothing happens to the dog." - NPR
"The novel is gripping and the plot fast-paced...This is a tense, engrossing survival story on par with classics such as Hatchet."
"Megan E. Freeman has written a lyrically captivating story for our times, reminding us that human resiliency and hope—along with the stories, poems, and imagination we keep alive—can exist even in the midst of trials, trauma, and the act of survival."
- Mary Rand Hess
NYT bestselling author and poet
"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."
"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
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