Sometimes the creepiest tales are the ones meant for children… this is one of those, but with a soft enough edge to keep things light and cozy. Save this one for the fall season!
Spooky vibes: ★★★★
Ollie's life is something she is deciding Not Thinking About. Things have happened. Ollie's of the opinion that if she doesn't look too closely at the details, things will be manageable. Or at least, more manageable.
Then a weird woman by Ollie' favorite spot by the lake tries to throw away a book—one of Ollie's most favorite and precious types of items—and Ollie can't let her do it. She steals the book from the crying, upset woman and runs away with it. The fact that the woman's rambling about darkness and evil... Eh. Ollie's not looking too closely at the details.
But maybe Ollie should have looked at the details.
As she finds herself diving into the book's story about Beth, two brothers, and an unnatural series of events, Ollie's starting to see some odd parallels between the book's setting and her hometown.
And the next day, Ollie's class takes a field trip to a local farm. Where things get terrifying. Fast.
Now it's up to Ollie and a few friends to save the day and escape before it's too late...
Small Spaces is a book that I have had on my radar for a longgggg time. Definitely since its debut in 2018. It's spooky? Check. It's about the fall time and involves scary scarecrows? Check. It's written by Katherine Arden? CHECK.
Don't ask me why I waited so long to pick this one up. I have no answers, and now it's one of those books that I wish I'd read earlier. But hey, we're here now! And it was just as a good as I'd hoped it would be.
This falls into that wonderful category of middle grade reads that feels like its meant for all ages. Both suitable for its age group (8-12 years old, I believe) and the rest of us older people, Small Spaces has that quality of atmosphere and timelessness that will likely make it a perennial classic in the realm of Halloween reading. I know I will be recommending it broadly!
Make sure to leave room on your autumnal TBR pile for this one... and watch out for the smiling man :)
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.