Kim Ventrella is a children’s librarian with a passion for storytelling. She believes that great books inspire readers to see whimsy and wonder in the everyday world. Her novel Skeleton Tree is a story about finding peace and friendship even in the darkest of times. Oh, and dancing skeletons! When she’s not racing her dog in the park, or defeating children in Minecraft, you might find her writing novels at one of the many coffee shops in the Oklahoma City area.

As a children’s and former teen librarian, Kim loves presenting to audiences of all ages. You can find her online at

The Wonderful World of Story

Grades 3-7
45-60 minutes

What do you see when you look at a pencil, a playground or a blade of grass? Even the ordinary objects and people around us can be extraordinary if you look at them the right way.

Author Kim Ventrella will help students find wonder and magic in the everyday world through the power of story. Students will learn:

  • How to get inspired by the world around them
  • How to turn that inspiration into a great story idea
  • How to recognize the essential ingredients of engaging stories
  • How to get started writing
  • What it takes to write and sell a book from start to finish

Kim will even help the students create an interactive story using objects and people in your classroom, library or auditorium. Get your pens and your imaginations ready.

Conference and Festival Appearances

Make Writing Magic

60 minutes

Queries, pitches, trends, platforms, marketing. It’s enough to make your head spin. Why not put all that aside for a moment and focus on what’s really important? Writing great stories that change the way people think about themselves and the world around them.

Author Kim Ventrella will share strategies for writing timeless, thought-provoking stories with heart. As a participant, you will explore how to:

  • Train yourself to be inspired by the magic and wonder that is all around us
  • Turn your inspiration into a solid idea for a story
  • Start brainstorming with an emotional road map
  • Focus on what you want readers to take away from your story
  • Revise for maximum emotional impact

Make Middle Grade Magic

60 minutes

Middle grade literature is magical. It is full of children discovering the wider world, and themselves, for the first time. There is a certain clarity, innocence and sense of wonder that makes so many books for this age group unforgettable classics. Join author Kim Ventrella as she shares:

  • What makes middle grade great
  • How to define middle grade fiction
  • How to find an engaging middle grade voice
  • How to craft a story readers will love
  • Why middle grade readers are smarter than adults
  • How to insert a bit of magic into every story

These presentations can also be adapted for longer workshop formats.  

The Wonderful World of Story

45-60 minutes

Kim can modify this talk (described above) for festival audiences.

Virtual Visits

Kim would love to drop in for a free 30-minute virtual visit and Q&A with classrooms and book groups who have read Skeleton Tree!

She is also available to do a 30-minute virtual version of either of her conference talks described above (followed by Q&A) for $50.

AV and Tech Needs for In-Person Visits

Kim will need a projector or SmartBoard to display her presentation (as well as potentially a laptop if your devices do not play friendly with Macs.)


Please contact the Author Visits team for more information.

Ordering Books

Schools and libraries may order books at a discounted rate by visiting The Scholastic Teacher Store or by calling 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.