Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story in the tradition of R. L. Stine destined to become a classic.

When eleven-year-old Ollie lost her mother in a plane crash, she sought solace in her books. So when she stumbles upon a distraught woman standing on the banks of the river intent on throwing a book into the water, Ollie stops her, steals the book and rides away on her bike. Upon reading, Ollie discovers a chilling ghost story about a girl, Elizabeth Morrison, who is being chased through cornfields filled with scarecrows by two brothers with deadly intent. When she finds the graves of Elizabeth Morrison and her tormentors, Jonathan and Caleb, on a farm during a school trip, on a day already full of odd occurrences, Ollie starts to think this book is more than just a book. On the ride home, the school bus breaks down along the side of the road and none of the kids or their teacher can get service on their cell phones to call for help. And then Ollie's digital wristwatch starts a mysterious countdown, with the word RUN spelled out on the face. She and two unlikely new friends are the only ones to heed its warning. As night begins to fall, they head out into the woods, bracketed by fearsome scarecrows. The bus driver gives them a word of advice. In order to survive whatever is coming, they'll need to keep to small spaces.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published on August 7, 2019 by Thorndike Press Large Print
ISBN-10: 1432865900
ISBN-13: 9781432865900
6 Book Reviews
  • dream_beyond
    dream_beyondThursday, June 10, 2021 at 11:50 am55 starsFeatured
    "Avoid large places, keep to small." That's what you should do when you visit Misty Valley on a misty night. Ollie is a total book nerd. She loves books whatsoever and cannot bear to see a book being thrown away. One day after school she visits one of her favorite spots and sees a woman crying, then just as the woman was about to throw the book in the river Ollie snatched the book out of her hand. No way was she going to let someone throw away a precious book! The woman warns her multiple times of the dangers and of the smiling man. Strange. She starts reading the book which is called Small Spaces. The next day she goes on a field trip with her class to a farm, but not just any farm, Misty Valley. The farm was very..... weird. She found the grave stones of the same exact people in her book, the farm sounded a lot like the one in her book, and there were a lot of scare crows. Definitely weird. It was time to head home so they got on the bus and were on their way home, but then the bus broke down. The bus driver told them to avoid large spaces, keep to small, because Small Spaces are the only way to survive. I enjoyed this book a lot!! And I give it a 5/5. This book was very exciting and I just wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next! I hope you will read this book and enjoy every single part!
    • shayshaygirl25
      shayshaygirl25Friday, May 21, 2021 at 4:25 am55 stars
      This book is the best boook I have ever read! It is about a girl, who lost her mother and has no friends at her school. She feels like her only friends are book, and so she threats when she sees a woman trying to throw a book into a creek, so she decideds to take the book, and sooner or later, she finds out that the tragic events from the book are true, and that her school is taking a field trip to the place it took place at, over 200 years ago! When she gets there, she searches for the graveyard where the people from the book are burryed, only to find a man who looks more like a warewolf than her school bus driver, and he offers the same advice as the book did, Avoid large places at night, keep to small. This advice comes in handy when their bus breaks down on the way back and she decides to run off with 2 people from her class, leaving the rest to turn into scarecrows. She has to make it out of this demention, save her class, and keep herself safe, but how can she doo all that? Read this book to find out.
      • satwikagejara
        satwikagejaraMonday, February 22, 2021 at 12:59 pm55 stars
        Eleven-year-old Ollie comes across a weeping woman next to a river, holding a book and threatening to throw it into the water. Ollie is impulsive, so she plucks the book from the woman's hand and runs off with it. The book is "Small Spaces," and tells a haunting story of a girl, two boys in love with her, and a farm from hundreds of years ago, and a deal with the sinister specter called the Smiling Man, who grants wishes for the ultimate price. Now, Ollie takes a school trip to a local farm with a haunted history. I am totally getting nightmares from this book but at least I learned to trust your instincts. Loved it and will definitely read the sequel. Dead Voices
        • Melaniya Tramp.Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 9:32 am
          I also liked this book, but for me it seems so-so. Because I am not accustomed to reading such books. I mostly read children's books and encyclopedias to my brother.
          • thistle912
            thistle912Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 12:35 pm44 starsFeatured
            I was supposed to read this for an online book club, and since Small Spaces was described as “a spooky and action-packed tale,” I was pretty sure I would like it. I was quick to open the book and start reading in anticipation, with high expectations in mind. I haven’t read these types of books in a long time, so it felt great to get back in touch with spooky kids’ stories like this. I loved the relatable characters and winding plot twists in Small Spaces—Katherine Arden’s writing is certainly great! It’s like she takes a strand of old, brittle thread, and weaves it into a beautiful piece of cloth that catches the eye of every person who walks by. Avid readers, get ready to plunge into a mysterious, thrilling story—get ready to read Small Spaces! Summary: When sixth grader Olivia “Ollie” Adler finds a crazed woman about to throw a book in the river, she knows she must do something about it. Finding inner strength that she never knew she had, Ollie steals the book and runs away. Called “Small Spaces”, the story is a complete mystery, and it seems to be related to the farm that her class will be going to as a field trip. When they arrive at the farm, Ollie feels like something is seriously wrong—especially when she sees that the owner of the farm is the same woman who was about to throw the book into the river. With help from two of her classmates, Coco and Brian, Ollie discovers something that could change her life forever. Can she figure out what the big mystery is? Read this book to find out! Overall, I liked this book, and rate it 4/5 stars. I recommend it to people who enjoy reading spooky books with many twists and turns!
            • zojo456
              zojo456Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 7:44 am55 stars
              This is about my FAVORITE book of ALLLL time. Its the book I've been looking for that has these features: Spooky, bone-chilling, and most of all, EXITMENT!!!