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Author: Arden, Katherine
Trapped at a haunted ski resort, Ollie, Coco, and Brian must rely on their friendship and sharp minds if they want to escape.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 504082
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 77469
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/01/19)
School Library Journal (08/09/19)
Booklist (+) (07/01/19)
The Hornbook (00/11/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2019 *Starred Review* Ollie, Coco, and Brian formed a deep bond after the events of Small Spaces (2018), and now the trio of friends, along with Coco’s mom and Ollie’s dad, are headed to a newly opened ski lodge after Ollie’s dad won a contest. If this sounds like the set-up for a classic haunted house story, you’re right on the money: there’s an ominous ghostly figure on the road leading to the lodge; they arrive amid a terrible blizzard; the power goes out in the already dark building; both Ollie and Coco are beset by vivid nightmares; a ghost hunter arrives at the last minute; and, of course, there’s terrifying taxidermy everywhere. But Arden is skilled in the art of misdirection—this is more than just a riff on a classic trope. It would spoil too much to give away much more detail, but Arden handily transforms the haunted house story into something much richer, scarier, and more sinister, tricky and challenging for the trio to puzzle out. Arden is fantastic at cultivating atmosphere, and she uses that to great effect in this novel, particularly when it comes to describing the sensory experience of the lodge and the appearance of the many ghastly ghosts and creatures. Middle-graders who thrill to spooks and scares will find plenty (maybe even more than they bargained for!) here. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/09/2019 Gr 5–8-A free ski vacation turns into a good news/bad news scenario for middle schoolers Coco, Brian, and Ollie (Olivia) and brings with it an unwelcome reunion with an old enemy in this sequel to Small Spaces. The good news? Ollie's dad won a week at a newly renovated ski lodge. The bad news? The lodge, a former orphanage, is haunted to the rafters. Coco loves being with her friends and views the growing relationship between her mom and Ollie's dad hopefully, but she's no fan of skiing, and she's the first to have an encounter with a ghost. The vacation goes downhill quickly, with a dangerous snowstorm wreaking havoc and plenty of disturbing encounters with creepy taxidermy animals and even creepier ghosts. The appearance of a ghost hunter, who offers the kids the chance to learn how to communicate with ghosts, is welcome at first, until they realize that he is really the Smiling Man, looking for a rematch…and revenge. This is mostly Coco's story; the least confident of the trio, she's the one who eventually figures out how to defeat the Smiling Man. Ollie's dead mother, communicating through her old watch, plays a part as well. Brian doesn't get a lot to do, nor do most of the adults, but the door is left open for further spooky adventures. VERDICT Standing just fine on its own (though newcomers will definitely be inspired to read Small Spaces), this is a fine addition to any scary stories shelf.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.