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Small Spaces

(Small Spaces #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,623 ratings  ·  480 reviews
Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn't think--she just acts, stealin
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Katherine Arden
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Leanne I just noticed you can preorder now. It says it'll come out on Sept. 25, 2018.

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Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing

ARC given to me by a confirmed angel, Lilly at Lair of Books, which I will cherish and love forever!

“You might get to know characters in books, Ollie thought, but getting to know a human was an entirely different thing.”

Small Spaces is Katherine Arden’s debut middle grade novel and I loved it so very much friends. Many of you know that The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my favorite books of all-time, and even though these stories are nothing like one another, the beautiful writing, amazi
Apr 10, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I would read Katherine Arden's shopping list if she published it.
شيماء ✨
Oct 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
so this is a ghost story about someone who pretty much got fucked over because they saved a book from being thrown into the water. can you imagine being a stack of dead tree and having this much power??
In fourth grade I sold my soul to the Scholastic Book Club’s Apple paperbacks. There was only one thing in the entire world I ever wanted to read, at that point. Only one thing that could make my little heart go pitter-pat, and that was the comforting presence of ghost stories. This was long before Bob Stine decided to slap an “R.L.” in front of his last name and stake a claim in the world of G-rated horror fare. But it was also long after John Bellairs made it his business to truck in the middl ...more
Peter Monn
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Much better than I thought it would be. Really enjoyed this. It felt like a more developed Goosebumps book with more character development. My full review will be on my booktube channel at
Eryn (Literary Lady)
Actual: 3.5 / 5

This was my first Katherine Arden novel, and it did not disappoint! I love how unique this was and how much I related to Ollie and her love of reading (amongst other things). Reading this made me feel all nostalgic for whatever reason, too — which was great.

For such a short novel, so many things happened. But that’s to be expected from a Children’s book, since it allows their imagination to take over. That being said, it leaves a lot to be desired for someone like me who loves lo
Joey Rambles
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Shelves: favorites-2018
About three things I was absolutely positive:

First, this is one of the scariest MG novels I've ever read.

Second, there is a possibility that this book might not get the same attention as something like City of Ghosts, which is a shame, because while I liked that novel, this one is an absolute gem and deserves to be treated as such.

And third, this is one of the scariest MG novels I've ever read.

I was right. Katherine Arden can do no wrong. I sincerely hope she continues writing for a very long ti
destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
I am gonna finish this SO soon. So... so soon. Just... not right now.
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3 stars

A creepy little book with a strange story. I liked it just fine, but it didn't suck me in at all and I found myself skimming at the end. I thought I would find it scary, but after binging the haunting of hill house all weekend I think the scare-o-meter had zero effect on me.

I am definitely interested in trying Arden's adult novels, maybe I will connect with those more.

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✨Brithanie Faith✨
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐


"When the mist rises, and the smiling man comes walking, you must avoid large places at night. Keep to small."


❇As I've said already- this definitely reminded me of Goosebumps, or Are You Afraid Of The Dark? If you've never read a Goosebumps book, or watched either of these t.v. shows you probably won't know what I'm talking about, but I felt myself being brought back to a simpler time when the only "horror" I knew was the family friendly kind! I was completely invested in this
kath | novelandfolk
It is a confirmed fact that I will read anything Katherine Arden writes.
To be honest, I haven’t read a middle grade horror since I was squished into a school bus seat with a tattered copy of Goosebumps in my backpack. It isn’t a genre I had considered revisiting, not for any particular reason other than moving on to other things. However, when I found out that the author of my favourite trilogy was debuting a middle grade novel, of course I had to give it a try.

In Small Spaces, Arden really show
samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
So I wanted something to read for Halloween that wasn't blooding or worst and found this had just come out and it looked fun, I went in thinking it would be like The Halloween tree, but found it was pretty creepy mostly because I can't stand scarecrows. But I could see anyone of any age enjoy this like I did if you want something a little spooky to read with no blood or guts.
☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness
3.4 stars

Great Halloween read but I didn't find it spooky enough. I know it's intended for a younger audience but kid Tinja would have agreed with me ;)
Rylee (Hermit Odysseus)
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
If you like added gifs, you can also check out my review here! =)

This is a quick read, and perfect for Halloween because it’s goosebump-inducingly spooky (and incidentally reminds me a lot of Goosebumps). I don’t do well with scary, and I seriously can’t emphasize that enough. This one isn’t even scary but it’s shiver-me-creepy and man alive did I have to hold my breath to make it through (yes, I'm that much of a wimp).

Let’s begin

A list of the creepy elements

- scarecrows
- smiling (yes, this bo
I don’t think I have ever been recommended an adult fantasy as much as Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale but in typical Rachel fashion, I jumped on her newest book instead.

Small Spaces reminded me why I adore middle grade to this day. It had everything I loved to see: a heartfelt friendship, palpable atmosphere, a twisty, turny plotline, and characters who I came to adore with every fibre of my being.

🎃 Ollie, our protagonist, is such a Gryffindor. She is slowly working through her grief and d
For those of us who grew up in the nineties (#datingmyself), SMALL SPACES is going to feel totally nostalgic for the days when you begged your parents to buy you the newest Goosebumps or Fear Street release, whatever RL Stine was putting out on any given day. This has that small town creepy factor, with intrepid children, and clues to follow with a mystery to solve, in order to save the day. The fact that I picked this up on the official first day of fall, and got to cuddle under a blanket as I ...more
andrea caro
Why, yes, spooky middle-grade is my bread and butter. Added this to the favorites shelf.
Katerina Kondrenko
7.5 out of 10

Very nice middle-grade story! I loved the writing (Arden knows how to make the words flow), creepy atmosphere, and the pacing. Oh, and the friendship too! Bromance development between the main characters was really great!
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
I truly appreciate Katherine Arden so much as a writer. She paints such perfect pictures and makes you feel like you’re right there. I was first introduced to her writing when I read The Bear and the Nightingale, and while these two stories are geared toward different age groups, Arden once again brought us all the the spooky, dark vibes.

Small Spaces follows Ollie, a sixth-grader from Vermont who is recovering from the death of her mom. She’s depressed and tends to isolate herself from friends a
Claudia ✨
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's official. Katherine Arden is the queen of writing atmospheric books.

Small Spaces is so very different from her beautiful debut, The Bear and The Nightingale, without losing her enchanting writing or taking away from this being a middlegrade novel. I had a friend who said that this reminded her of Goosebumps, and I could not agree more.

So what is it about?

Eleven-year-old Ollie is trying to get her life together after losing someone very close to her, and doesn't feel much joy except for w
Stephanie Gillespie
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"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
Xavier (CharlesXplosion)
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Small Space is a spooky, Halloween read that is ensure to delight as well as haunt.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I get a little more in-depth with my thoughts here, but basically, this is a wonderfully spooky, atmospheric middle grade that gives you those cozy autumnal feels.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
All the stars seriously!!!

This is the first time ever I don’t want a story to end. Yes I love a lot of books, but this one is special. I am not sure why I feel this way, but last night I got goosebumps all of my body by just thinking about story. And please note that last night, I haven’t read the whole book, just half of it. It sent chills all over my body! Dang this book!

It’s atmospheric, haunting and SO FREAKING CREEPY!!!!! I can see why some will say that it has Goosebumps vibes into it!

I to
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Middle grade horror isn't something I usually read, but apparently Katherine Arden has the talent to make every story into something I end up loving. Excellent and genuinely spooky tale with great characters.
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
I swear to the gods above this better be published in the UK too otherwise I will become a small angry ball of agitation ;-;
The Captain
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! Ever since I read the bear and the nightingale, I have been in love with this author’s writing. So while waiting for book 3 of that trilogy, I thought I would give her middle-grade novel a whirl because I don’t put age limits on reading. And this was a fun one.

This story follows Ollie who finds solace in being alone and reading in order to escape the pain of losing her mother. Then one cold day she goes to her favorite spot by the creek to find someone has gotten there firs
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because I have loved the adult fantasy by this author, but I wasn't sure how I would feel about her writing a middle grade book. I'm happy to report that this was an unexpectedly amazing reading experience! I read this in a single sitting and could not put it down. Small Spaces is a deliciously creepy ghost story featuring some pretty terrifying scarecrows and a brave young heroine who is grieving the death of her mother. Full of adventure, friendship, a warm family, and some su ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
Can I just say that this is a middle-grade book, but the number of creeps it gave me made me refuse to go to the toilet at 2 AM? 😱 I don't know if reading this at midnight made that happened or I'm really just a scaredy cat. But holy fuck, this book is really creepy and so so good!!! Even reading City of Ghosts didn't give me this much chills. (view spoiler) ...more
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
So this was actually freaking adorable and creepy. Olivia is like my second favourite MG pov.

Also, scarecrows are just clowns made of a vegetable.
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A note to everyone who trips and falls upon my Goodreads page. First, welcome. Let us read and discuss all the books together. Second, Goodreads is wondrous, but contacting me through my Goodreads DMs is a good way to ensure a long wait for a reply. Your best bet is Twitter or Instagram (arden_katherine) on both.

Happy reading.

Born in Texas, Katherine studied French and Russian at Middlebury Coll

Other books in the series

Small Spaces (2 books)
  • Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2)