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.

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.
skeleton tree arc 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.

Download the new SKELETON TREE Discussion Guide!

SKELETON TREE was also published in the UK with Macmillan. Here’s the amazing UK cover with artwork by Victoria Assanelli.

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 ThiefSkeleton 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

 

BIG NEWS!!! SKELETON TREE is now out in Italian, yay!

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