Small Spaces

Catherine Arden

To kick off half term and get in the mood for Halloween, I decided I wanted a scare-fest. So I treated myself to a creepy read that’s been on my radar for over a year now and boy was it worth the wait! My word, how I adore this deliciously spooky book!

I didn’t manage to squeeze Small Spaces in last Halloween but it wasn’t getting past me this year! It’s now definitely up there with my favourite Middle Grade Ghost and Horror stories – fans of Aveline Jones and Crater Lake will love it. I was a huge Point Horror fan as kid and this had all the feels. Expect rustling in the corn, sinister scarecrows, hauntings and a terrifying twist!

After loosing her mum, 11 year-old Ollie has isolated herself and spends her days book-dreaming. So when she meets a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read ‘Small Spaces’  Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister spectre.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunted history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about.

On the way home, the school bus breaks down & the creepy bus driver has some advice for Ollie: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.”

Nightfall is indeed, fast approaching and only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by cornfields full of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

Alone in the woods, miles from anywhere can Ollie and her friends escape the evil scarecrows, ghosts of the past and the terrifying smiling man?

I’m now dying to read Dead Voices and Dark Waters, the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy.  I’m also super excited to hear that there is going to be a 4th book!

What spooky reads can you recommend for Halloween?

2 thoughts on “Small Spaces

  1. This sounds good Emma. I still think the scariest MG book I’ve read is Frost Hollow Hall. At present I’m trying to finish Dracula for one of my adult book groups – but I’m too much of a wimp to read it close to bedtime, so making slow progress!


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