So you read this heart-pounding survival middle grade verse novel, and now you’re on the hunt for books like Alone by Megan E. Freeman? Welcome!
Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but as I said in the first post in this series, I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is Alone by Megan E. Freeman, which I enjoyed when I read it in 2021! This road trip story is about a father-daughter relationship, grief, and finding community.
Here’s my readalike criterion: Each book I recommend must have strong similarities with the beloved title. For this post, I’ve chosen seven great titles, survival books starring brave kids working through deeper emotional issues. Most importantly, all of these stories are page-turners that will keep you reading until an ungodly hour. If you or your kids loved this book, here are more books like Alone by Megan E. Freeman.
Ready? Let’s go.
7 Thrilling Survival Books Like Alone by Megan E. Freeman
Here are 7 books like Alone by Megan E. Freeman:
Across the Desert
Published: October 12, 2021
12-year-old Jolene has a tough life. Her mom is misusing opioids and can barely care for her. She’s mocked at school for wearing too-small clothing and looking haggard. Jolene’s only bright spot is a tween pilot she watches via livestream at the library, “Addie Earhart.”
Addie and Jolene gradually form a warm friendship and encourage each other through life’s hardships. But one day during the livestream, Addie crashes her plane. No one but Jolene is watching the stream, and Addie’s mom doesn’t know she even flies planes. It’s up to Jolene to save her, but she’s a kid with no money — and Addie’s is stuck miles away in the Arizona desert. How will Jolene make it work?
When Giants Burn
Published: June 13, 2023
Gerty has a secret: She’s building an airplane. She wants to join the Civil Air Patrol, where pilots as young as twelve help with disaster relief—but she knows her parents would be outraged. They’re survivalists who raised her to be independent and only enrolled her in middle school to show her why they’ve decided to opt out of society. Still, Gerty is determined to protect her beloved Pando, a nearby ancient aspen forest.
Hayes has some problems of his own, but they aren’t the kind that can be hidden under a tarp. His mom is back from prison, but he’s not sure he’ll ever stop missing the mom she used to be. One thing is certain: He’s never going to be like her. He follows the rules. But Gerty is the only person at school Hayes doesn’t hate, so after she tells him about her hidden plane, he helps her finish it.
When wildfires break out nearby, Gerty wants to fly to Pando and make sure it’s safe—and Hayes is tempted by the chance to escape everything on the ground. But the duo will soon realize that they can’t escape their roots—and that holding onto those connections might be the real key to survival.
Out of Range
Published: June 7, 2022
Sisters Abby, Emma, and Ollie can’t seem to get it together. After months of squabbling, their parents ship them off to summer camp together to figure out their issues. The girls succeed in ignoring each other most of the time, but a hike gone wrong on their last day forces them to work together against hunger, near-drownings, and bear attacks. The story alternates between the past and the present so readers can see what went wrong with the sisters and watch them make their way back.
Published: July 25, 2017
Three kids living in different time periods and countries go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.
The I Survived series
Published: February 2, 2021
With relatable characters and riveting plotlines, the I Survived books are perfect for reluctant readers or any young reader who enjoys an action-packed, page-turning thriller. Each book also contains several pages of nonfiction content, encouraging readers to further explore the historical topic.
The Disaster Days
Published: October 1, 2019
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near Seattle. She’s always felt totally safe there. So when she’s asked to babysit after school one day, it’s no big deal. Zoe and Oscar are her next-door neighbors, and Hannah just took a babysitting class, which she’s pretty sure makes her an expert. She isn’t even worried that she left her inhaler at home.
Then the shaking begins. The terrifying earthquake only lasts four minutes, but it changes everything―damaging the house, knocking out the power, and making cell service nonexistent. Even worse, the ferry and the bridge connecting the kids to help―and their parents―are both blocked, which means they’re stranded alone. And Hannah’s in charge as things go from bad to worse.
Paradise on Fire
Published: September 14, 2021
Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids—each with their own troubles—to spend a summer out west.
Deep in the forest the kids learn new (and to them) strange skills: camping, hiking, rock climbing, and how to start and safely put out campfires. Most important, they learn to depend upon each other for companionship and survival. But then comes a devastating forest fire…
Addy is face-to-face with her destiny and haunting past. Developing her courage and resiliency against the raging fire, it’s up to Addy to lead her friends to safety. Not all are saved. But remembering her origins and grandmother’s teachings, she’s able to use street smarts, wilderness skills, and her spiritual intuition to survive.
There they are: 7 great books to hand to fans of Megan E. Freeman’s Alone! Which of these books have you read and enjoyed? What did I miss?
- Books like Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Books for fans of From the Desk of Zoe Washington
- Books like The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise