Adventure · Book of My Choosing - 2019 · Book Review · Children · Coming-of-Age · Crime/Thriller/Suspense/Horror · Fantasy/Paranormal/SciFi · Horror · Middle Grade

Book Review: Small Spaces by Katherine Arden


Title: Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1)
Author: Katherine Arden
Pages: 218

Genre: Middle Grade, Coming-of-Age, Horror, Fantasy, Adventure
Story Perspective: Third-Person
Themes: Friendship, Grief, Loss, Bullying, Bravery, Courage

Publication Date: September 25, 2018
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers




Eleven-year-old Ollie is having trouble adjusting to life without her mom. Making and keeping friends is very difficult for her. Her life changes even more dramatically when she meets an unstable woman and steals a book from her. The book features a tale of “the smiling man”…

While on a field trip, Ollie encounters an odd bus driver who gives her a warning – to run into the woods when their school bus breaks down. As she follows this unclear warning, two classmates join her. The trio exit the bus and are given one advice – to stay in small places at night. Passing by a field of scarecrows, the three are in for a chilling night they will never forget.

my review

Here is another book that I participated in a buddy read with two fellow booklovers at, and loved it so much!

The author does a nice job in creating suspense and balances it with some lighter moments. I thought the plot flowed really well and was creative, especially with the involvement of the scarecrows. There was never a dull moment; pages just seemed to fly by!

I really enjoyed all of the characters. The trio, Ollie, Coco, and Brian, all seemed to have grown in some way toward the end. Protagonist Ollie was given a meaningful background that it was easy to sympathize with her and her situation. She’s relatable and kind, which I can see as appealing for the intended audience for the book.

When it comes to writing, Arden does a fantastic job in pulling her young readers in while developing a story that can attract adults as well.

Though the bullying was sad to see, I think the author does a great job including it in the story. It wasn’t too drastic, but just enough to get her message across.

It was such a fun read that I went ahead and added her other books to my TBR list!

My Rating5 stars


I would highly recommend this read for those who enjoy middle grade books with a fun, suspenseful plot.

Number of books of my choosing versus for review:

1 out of 52 books of my choosing for 2019
0 books for review for 2019

One thought on “Book Review: Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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