Press Kit

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About Me

Kim Ventrella is the author of the middle grade novels SKELETON TREE and BONE HOLLOW. Her works explore the intersection between darkness, whimsy and wonder. She has held a variety of interesting jobs, including the overnight staff person at a women’s shelter, a French instructor, a Peace Corps Volunteer and a children’s librarian, but her favorite job title is author. She lives in Oklahoma City with her dog/superhero sidekick, Hera, and she would love to stop by your school, library or writing group in-person or via a free Skype visit.

Contact Details

Brianne Johnson, Literary Agent
Writers House
phone: 212-685-2400

Cecilia de la Campa, Subsidiary Rights Director
Writers House
phone: 212-685-2400

Mary Pender, Film Agent
United Talent Agency
phone: 212-500-3220

After meeting you and taking your advice I want to become an author now! — Kiara, Adams Elementary

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 the basic tools needed to craft a good story and answer students’ burning questions about the writing life or life in general, including crowd-favorites like, “How old are you?” and “Do you have a boyfriend?”

Kim understands that school and library budgets are tight, and she will work with you to accommodate your needs. Also, Skype visits are always free!!!

Contact for school and library visits:

Author Photos (click for high-res)

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Book Covers (click for high-res)

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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
Grades: 3-7
Classification: Social Issues / Death & Dying, Legends, Myths, Fables
Release Date: February 2019


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
Grades: 3-7
Classification: Social Issues / Death & Dying, Family / Siblings
Release Date: October 2017

Media Reviews 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