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.
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published on September 25, 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
4 Book Reviews
  • 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!!!