KIM 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: kimventrella.com
After meeting you and taking your advice I want to become an author now! — Kiara, 5th grade
School & Library Visits
One of my favorite things about being an author is inspiring students to create their own stories. I would love to visit your students in grades 3-8 to get them excited about reading and writing. My large group presentations are full of humor, adorable dog photos and my TOP 7 WRITING TIPS! Students will…
- See embarrassing pictures from my childhood 🙂
- Learn how I got started writing, and how they can too!
- Laugh, have fun and, most importantly, get inspired to create!
I also offer hands-on workshops for small groups on the following topics:
- Creating Amazing Characters
- Scary Stories 101
- Choose your own
If you are an Oklahoma school looking to book me for a visit, please fill out this form.
If you are outside of Oklahoma, this is the form for you.
You can find pricing info on the online form, or download the Guide to School Visit Costs.
Download more info about my presentations: Author Visit Info Sheet.
About My Books
About HELLO, FUTURE ME:
Tagline: Is there any problem magic can’t solve?
Jacket copy: Eleven-year-old June is a problem-solver. Some people might call her a busybody, but that’s okay. Just look at all the couples she’s helped find love! (Grateful newlyweds Marlene and Big Vic have even promised June free hot chocolate for life at their café.)
However, when June learns that her parents are getting divorced, she has to face the fact that there are some problems too big even for her. At least, that’s what the adults in her life keep saying.
But June’s convinced there’s a way to make her parents fall back in love. While brainstorming ideas on her new secondhand laptop—purchased from a mysterious store in town called The Shop of Last Resort—June gets a strange IM from someone named JuniePie28 . . . someone who claims to be an older version of June messaging her from the future.
At first, she assumes it’s a prank. But JuniePie28 knows too much about June’s life to be a fraud, and future June warns her against interfering with her parents’ marriage. But June can’t just sit around and watch her parents’ marriage dissolve, not when there’s a magical shop in town that could be the answer to all her problems! Will June prove her older self wrong and stop the divorce? Or will she have to accept that there are some things in life she can’t fix?
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1338576177
Praise for HELLO, FUTURE ME:
“A perfectly magical story packed with twists, energy and charm!” –Janet Fox, award-winning author of The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
Tagline: Death is only the beginning…
Jacket copy: In 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
Classification: Social Issues / Death & Dying, Legends, Myths, Fables
Release Date: February 2019
Praise for BONE HOLLOW:
“…a sensory delight. Gabe’s voice is distinct, and…reinforces the humanity amid the magic. A heck of a good read about the bright side of some durn bad luck.” –Kirkus starred review
“…a quiet, insightful book…Ventrella fearlessly tackles the sensitive subject of death for a middle grade audience.” –Booklist
Download the BONE HOLLOW Discussion Guide
Tagline: There are lots of things that grow in backyards. Bones aren’t one of them.
Jacket copy: Twelve-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.
Teaser: 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.
Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-338-04270-2, ISBN (ebook): 978-1-338-04272-6
Retail Price: $16.99
Length: 240 pages
Classification: Social Issues / Death & Dying, Family / Siblings
Release Date: October 2017
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
Download the SKELETON TREE Discussion Guide