Review: How to Be Alone by Tanya Davis

How to Be AloneTitle: How to Be Alone

Author: Tanya Davis

Illustrator: Andrea Dorfman

Publisher: Harper

Release Date: October 22nd, 2013

Interest: Illustrated Poem

Source: Finished copy received from the publisher

Summary (From Goodreads):

If you are at first lonely, be patient.
If you’re not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait . . .

From a solitary walk in the woods to sitting unaccompanied on a city park bench to eating a meal and even dancing alone, certain activities can feel strange when you’re on your own. We rarely treasure those moments, even though there are abundant possibilities and delights waiting to be discovered when we have the time to just be with ourselves. Tanya Davis’s words and Andrea Dorfman’s beautiful illustrations soothe the disquiet that accompanies this fear of aloneness, and celebrate the power of solitude to change our views of ourselves and the world. How to Be Alone reveals how, removed from the noise and distractions of other lives, we can find acceptance and grace within.

For those who have never been by themselves, or for those who relish being on their own, this moving work encourages us to recognize and embrace the possibilities of being alone—and reminds us of a universe of joy, peace, and discovery waiting to unfold.

No one will think lessMy seniors are working on their My Story project which connects with their end of the year Senior Exit presentation, so when HarperCollins emailed me about How to Be Alone, I knew I wanted to read it. The My Story project focuses on students’ values, how they were developed, and the students expressing these values in a creative way. Poetry and art are a couple of options, so Tanya Davis’s illustrated poem was the perfect example for them. This is a great book to have handy when you’re teaching poetry.

The poem itself is lovely, as are the illustrations. Many of us struggle with being alone, especially in social situations/places, but Davis makes plenty of good points about being alone. Andrea Dorfman’s illustrations complement the different parts of the poem perfectly and drive those words home. And maybe this is weird, but the pages smell good because of the ink used. 🙂

Anyway, if you’re looking for a poem that will make you smile, you should pick up a copy of How to Be Alone. I’ve also included an image of one of my favorite pages, as well as a YouTube video so you can hear the poem.


  1. Just saw this on order at my library and googled it and ended up here! I’ll be checking this out for sure.


  1. Genuine Blog says:

    Bibliophiles Crave Their Alone

    […] never been by themselves, or for those who relish being on their own, this movin […]

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