— Sarah Fleming (@MsFleming93) May 23, 2018
Alone Together hits shelves May 1st! We are giving away a class set to a high school teacher. Use the 30 books to give away for summer reading, to share with colleagues for book groups, or for a whole-class read (a quick read)! Sponsored by Ethical ELA and Dr. Bickmore’s YA Wednesday, a blog for young adult literature!
- Order Alone Together from your local bookstore, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble and enter to win a FREE paperback class set of Alone Together for your high school.
- Email your receipt of Alone Together to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5/8/2018 with your name, school name, and school address to participate in the giveaway.
Must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. No groups, club, or organization may participate. Multiple entries from the same email address will be disqualified. Please allow 5 weeks for 30 paperback copies to arrive by mail. Offer valid between April 23, 2018 and May 7, 2018. Winner will be notified on May 8th!
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What I love about this book is how unique Sadie is, and yet, we can all identify with her. Whether it’s her love of all-things-reading, her feeling of quirkiness as a teen, or her inability to identify with most members of her larger-than-large Catholic family, there’s a little bit of Sadie for everyone.
Her quest to find herself in her own space, in addition to this complex world, is both raw and real. Sadie is a teen like any other in an extremely complicated family…yet they show love in the best ways they can. (Well, most of them do anyway.) Sadie falls for boys, worries about her looks, and tries to care for her family in the best way she can, even when she doesn’t know how to begin.
In all of this, the beauty is that Sadie is also an original. What Sarah Donovan has done is allowed Sadie to breathe free, even in and amongst the chaos. Through careful storytelling, rich details, and astute observations, Sadie becomes someone whom we can trust and understand from the very first lines.
Additionally, I love that Sarah chose the verse form for this book. It flows sweetly and powerfully though Sadie’s year–some moments swift and fluid, others lingering just long enough to pull us in. Some particular scenes I love are the ones with Henry in the bookstore (where Sadie renews her love of reading in a mature way–a means of “becoming” again) and her time with Sam and Mr. Manicotti, both of whom believe in her for different reasons when no one else does.
I also appreciate the family dynamics. So much going on in this home filled with people, and though there’s much to dissect and ponder, Sarah offers an empathetic and complex view of each character. They have depth, they have volume, and they elicit a sense of compassion, even when you want to be angry with them. This is the work of a strong writer.
Especially as a woman, this book speaks to me on many levels. Alone Together drives home the central idea that who we are and what we bring to the table are of the utmost importance. Between Sadie’s reading of authors such as Manal Sharif and Maya Angelou, to her willingness to strike out on her own for the summer, Donovan reminds us that all of us have a place within us to flourish and grow–no matter what limitations or obstacles stand in our way.
Though in the book many try to “take care of” Sadie, she shows that she can take care of herself just fine. A testament to the fact that we can all be “Alone, Together” after all, and it’s not such a bad thing. What a gift this can be.