Small Spaces

Small Spaces

Book - 2018
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"After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, [2018]
ISBN: 9780525515029
Branch Call Number: J ARD
Characteristics: 218 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

A truly creepy, suspenseful, spine-tingling adventure as a group of friends have to make an unplanned trip through a dark and ominous woods after their school bus breaks down. Ages 10+

From the critics

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Jan 24, 2021

Very frightening! I think of scarecrows differently now.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 28, 2020

Super creepy horror for the kiddos. I will never look at scarecrows the same again!

Dec 10, 2020

If you are a mental health advocate, fighting stigma in our society, this book will probably bother you.

The story concept is good. It was just the right amount of scary. Too bad it was marred by a few poorly-worded passages. Thoughtful writing or thoughtful editors could have made this a four or five star book.

Oct 03, 2020

A really good story for middle graders with just the right amount of creepy to make a great October read.

Sep 11, 2020

A thriller for the young and old. WARNING: You will never look at scarecrows the same way again!

Jul 28, 2020

Even though it's about middle school children, adults would appreciate this book!!! Excellent

What a deliciously creepy, atmospheric little gem of a novel. This one is going to stick with me forever, and I'm so glad it will.

Olivia "Ollie" Adler is 11. She's great at math and loves reading novels. When she happens across a woman in the woods one October day after school, she's hesitant to approach her - until she sees that the woman is about to throw a book into the river. Ollie can't allow that, so she takes it, and what follows is a series of the creepiest things I've ever read in a middle grade novel. There are scarecrows that come to life at night, ghosts with skin melting from their faces, grotesque bus drivers with red red mouths, and messages scrawled on trees when backs are turned. The atmosphere is tense, horrifying, and generally terrifying for about 50% of the book.

Which means that I absolutely adored every second of it.

What this book gets so utterly right is atmosphere. From the very first page, I felt like I was stepping into the little town of Evansburg on a regular October day. I could smell the smoke and hot apple cider. I could feel the leaves under my feet. I could picture so clearly the streets that Ollie rides her bike down, the Egg (the house she lives in), the bus that she gets crammed onto with the rest of the sixth grade for a regular, everyday field trip to the farm. Everything is so wonderfully crafted that it felt completely real and 100% engrossing.

Another aspect that I really loved is the intricacy of the plot. I won't spoil anything, but on top of the basic details of the haunting and the lore of the smiling man, there is a subplot about grief that lends the whole book a certain heartfelt aspect that I think some middle grade just doesn't even attempt. I felt so much for Ollie. She's absolutely brilliant, and brave, and whip-smart, and she's dealing with one of the hardest things in the world for anyone to go through, let alone an 11-year-old. How that translates into the story is magical and moving.

This book has everything a Halloween-loving black soul like me could ever want, and it's well-written on top of it all.

JCLChrisK May 04, 2020

Perfectly creepy and chilling, with a well developed, strong young heroine and excellently paced suspense. Belongs on every list of scary books for middle grade readers.

Apr 24, 2020

I so loved Arden's Winter Night trilogy that I was curious to read her entry into the middle grade/tween arena. If your kid scares easily this may not be the title for them. Then again, the story really is about the friendships that the characters make while going through frightening events together. They learn about themselves and how to draw on their and each others strengths. As an adult I still really enjoyed this read and look forward to reading the next in the series.

Mar 03, 2020

Kind of spooky, a little fantasy, plus kids learning to get along

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satx_bookshark Jun 26, 2019

satx_bookshark thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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