IMG_7521KIM VENTRELLA is the author of the middle grade novels HELLO, FUTURE ME (2020), SKELETON TREE (2017) and BONE HOLLOW (2019, Scholastic Press), and she is a contributor to the upcoming NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK anthology (2020, HarperCollins). Her works explore difficult topics with big doses of humor, whimsy and hope. Kim has held a variety of interesting jobs, including children’s librarian, scare actor, Peace Corps volunteer, French instructor and overnight staff person at a women’s shelter, but her favorite job title is author. She lives in Oklahoma City with her dog and co-writer, Hera. Check out her website at:

After meeting you and taking your advice I want to become an author now! — Kiara, 5th grade

School & Library Visits

Kim Ventrella loves to inspire students to create their own stories. She is a strong believer that all people, including children, teachers and librarians, have the capability to change the world one story at a time. Kim will give participants a look behind the scenes and what goes into writing and publishing a book.

  • Oklahoma City metro area rates: $150 for up to three 45-minute sessions, plus $50 for each additional session (or FREE w/ pre-order of 50 or more books)
  • Out-of-state visits: $500 per day plus expenses

Kim understands that school and library budgets are tight, and she will work with you to accommodate your needs. Also, visits via Skype or Google Hangouts are always free!!! Fill out this form for more information:

About BONE HOLLOW: Death is only the beginning…

BoneHollow_cvrIn retrospect, it was foolish to save that chicken. On the roof. In the middle of a thunder storm. But what choice did Gabe have? If he hadn’t tried to rescue Ms. Cleo’s precious pet, she would’ve kicked him out. And while Ms. Cleo isn’t a perfect guardian, her house is the only home Gabe knows.

After falling off the roof, Gabe wakes up in a room full of tearful neighbors. To his confusion, none of them seem to hear Gabe speak. It’s almost as if they think he’s dead. But Gabe’s not dead. He feels fine! So why do they insist on holding a funeral? And why does everyone scream in terror when Gabe shows up for his own candlelight vigil?

Scared and bewildered, Gabe flees with his dog, Ollie, the only creature who doesn’t tremble at the sight of him. When a mysterious girl named Wynne offers to let Gabe stay at her cozy house in a misty clearing, he gratefully accepts. Yet Wynne disappears from Bone Hollow for long stretches of time, and when a suspicious Gabe follows her, he makes a mind-blowing discovery. Wynne is Death and has been for over a century. Even more shocking . . . she’s convinced that Gabe is destined to replace her.

Skeleton Tree author Kim Ventrella returns with the wisest, funniest, and most profound middle grade adventure you’ll read in this lifetime…or the next.

Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-338-04274-0, ISBN (ebook): 978-1-338-04275-7
Retail Price: $17.99
Length: 240 pages
Grades: 3-7
Classification: Social Issues / Death & Dying, Legends, Myths, Fables
Release Date: February 2019

About SKELETON TREE: There are lots of things that grow in backyards. Bones aren’t one of them.

skeleton_tree_cvr_finalTwelve-year-old Stanly knows the bone is a little weird, but that’s okay, because now he’ll have the perfect photo to submit for the Young Discoverer’s Competition. With such a unique find he’s sure to win the grand prize. But, oddly, the bone doesn’t appear in any photos. Even stranger, it seems to be growing into a full skeleton . . . one that only children can see.

There’s just one person who doesn’t find any of this weird—Stanly’s little sister. Mischievous Miren adopts the skeleton as a friend, and soon, the two become inseparable playmates. When Miren starts to grow sick, Stanly suspects that the skeleton is responsible, and does everything in his power to drive the creature away. However, Miren is desperate not to lose her friend, forcing Stanly to question everything he’s ever believed about life, love, and the mysterious forces that connect us.

Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-338-04270-2, ISBN (ebook): 978-1-338-04272-6
Retail Price: $16.99
Length: 240 pages
Grades: 3-7
Classification: Social Issues / Death & Dying, Family / Siblings
Release Date: October 2017

Learn more about Skeleton Tree

Stanly only stopped once to look back at the bones. Maybe it was his imagination, but he could have sworn the finger twitched. Like it wanted him to come closer. He remembered the feeling he’d had when he first saw the bone, like nothing would ever be the same again. The bone changed things, and no matter how hard he might try, he could never go back to before.

Download the new SKELETON TREE Discussion Guide or the BONE HOLLOW Discussion Guide

Praise for Skeleton Tree
  • Skeleton Tree is a powerful and tender story. Kim Ventrella knows when to be playful and when to break your heart.” —Cassie Beasley, NYT-bestelling author of Circus Mirandus
  • “Like Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Skeleton Tree upends the myth of the Grim Reaper. Scary, sad, funny and always so, so sweet, Skeleton Tree will haunt me and remind me that life is miraculous when it’s rooted in hope and empathy.” —Paul Griffin, author of Burning Blue and When Friendship Followed Me Home
  • “Ventrella’s comforting storytelling reveals a magical world where a skeleton can grow and where a family’s love for each other can provide healing.” —School Library Journal
  • “[An] emotional roller coaster tempered by a touch of magic and a resilient, likable protagonist.” –Kirkus Reviews
  • “Quietly powerful; dark yet whimsical . . .” –Booklist
  • “…an ambitious debut story of magical thinking…” —Kirkus Reviews

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