This was my first novel. It’s about losing a friendship, feeling alone, and trying to understand what happened. Then it’s about finding out that you are not actually alone, and that you can be happy again. I hope I haven’t spoiled it for you by telling you that there’s a happy ending.

I put a lot of little drawings in this book because #1 I hadn’t written anything this long before, and making little drawings boosted my courage (I was an artist before I started writing and #2 Sometimes it seems to me that words are the best way to say something, and sometimes it seems like a picture is the way to go.

 Discussion Questions and Activities

are available on the “Extras” page.


A Note from Lynne Rae: I recently made the craft that starts off chapter 6. There is a drawing, and instructions, in the book. Here is a photo of the one I made:

debbie's bottleI can’t remember what it’s supposed to look like. It doesn’t actually look like leather or anything. But I think it looks kind of cool. It was fun to make (if, like me, you kind of enjoy tedious little projects), and took about two hours.

From reviews of All Alone in the Universe:

“An exceptional first novel. You feel at heart that this is a story of an artist being born.”

The Horn Book (starred review)

“Debbie’s first-person narrative is sharp, funny, uneasy, spiteful, fragile.”

–ALA Booklist (starred review)

“A poignant story written with sensitivity and tenderness.”

School Library Journal (starred review)

“Perkins gives the significance of friendship its due, and then some.”

Kirkus Reviews

Awards & Lists

New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

ALA Booklist “Top 10 First Novels”

Horn Book Fanfare Book

ALA Notable Children’s Book

CCBC Choice Book

Smithsonian Magazine’s Notable Books for Children

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Riverbank Review Book of Distinction