Small Spaces

Small Spaces
Written by Katherine Arden

Publisher’s Summary:
After eleven-year-old Ollie’s school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces.

Primary Source Pairing:
Book-loving Ollie can’t pass up a mysterious book that a stranger is trying to throw in the river. She takes it and as she reads it, unbelievably, the story is materializing right before her eyes. This spooky adventure mystery will lure in readers who are looking for something creepy and exciting. A creepy story welcomes a creepy primary source. For this primary source pairing,  invite students to study a photograph of a scarecrow from a farm in North Carolina in 1938. Were scarecrows creepy before reading Small Spaces or after? Both?!

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • How do you feel when studying this image?
  • Make a text to primary source connection.
  • Do you look at scarecrows differently now? Why or why not?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Scarecrow, North Carolina, photograph by John Vachon: Library of Congress