“Wherever you go in this big, gorgeous, hideous world, there is a ghost story waiting for you.”
Small spaces is Katherine Arden’s first middle grade book, and the first book I’ve read by this author. I am in love with her writing, it’s so good! I cannot wait to read Bear and the Nightingale this winter.
This story follows Ollie, a 12 year old girl in the sixth grade living in Vermont. She is dealing with the death of her mom, she is isolated from the other kids in her class. On her way home from school, she comes across a woman crying by the lake. The woman is holding a book and wants to throw it into the water. Ollie takes the book from the woman. The next day Ollie’s class is on a delis trip, visiting an old farm where Ollie notices the woman from the lake. She starts to notice some strange things surrounding the book and what is happening around her.
Small Spaces is a perfect Halloween book. The setting is atmospheric and haunting. It was the best thing about this book, the writing transports you to the woods with the children.The scarecrows are eerie and gave me major creepy vibes. Even though this is a middle grade novel I think there is something in it even adults will enjoy.
“When the mist rises, it said, and the smiling man comes walking, you must avoid large places at night.”
This story also touches on the importance of friendship. Ollie needs to rely on her friends Coco and Brian to get through the night safely. Coco is the smallest girl in the class, she is also the new girl moving to his town from a big city. She is a target for bullying, she reminds me of Luna Lovegood, needless to say I loved her! Brian is Jamaican and your stereotype middle school jock. But we get to see a side of him he doesn’t show everyone. Also touches on grief, how death affects people and the healing that comes afterwards. It’s just a beautiful book that has something for every age not just for children.
I really loved this book, and it’s the perfect time to read this haunting story. The cover reflects its eerie tone and spookiness of the story. I highly recommend this book.