My Thoughts

From my Instagram feed and the other book reviews you could be forgiven for thinking I am overly keen on trees. You would not be wrong. Ever since reading about the Ents in The Hobbit I have been intrigued by magical trees and those of you who know me understand that tree climbing and tree houses are in my blood. So, when I saw Skeleton Tree book for review on NetGalley I snatched it up. It is always a treat to get an early copy so huge thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance edition.

I like to think that stories are where our imaginations take us when they are off the leash and Kim Ventrella’s was definitely running free with this one. The concept of a skeleton growing in your garden is fantastic and there are so many places a writer could go from this starting point. Ventrella seemed to know exactly where she was headed and holds tight to the story line giving us a rocketing read from the very first page.

The Story

The reader is immediately inside the head of Stanly, a young boy who is trying to balance his inquisitive sense of adventure with responsibilities for his younger sister. The author gets the balance of entertainment and message just right, with Stanly constantly torn between the frustrations of having a younger sibling and concern that she is in poor health. Ventrella skilfully communicates the complexities of family life with Stanly alternately hating and adoring his little sister.

I had thought the story would be about a skeleton tree but it is really about family, love and loyalty. Stanly’s mother is busy, distracted and worried & he has developed a great coping mechanism for when his brain is going to explode; Slurpy the zombie lopes around in side his head and eats all his worries. And worries he certainly has.  There is a skeleton in his garden that only Stanly and his sister seem to see, he needs to win a competition to earn back the attention of his errant father, and his sister's ailing health keeps him and his mother constantly on their toes.

I would think Skeleton Tree would be an enjoyable read for ages 8-10 - boys and girls alike.

Skeleton Tree will be available to buy in the Autumn - watch out for it! It is worth the wait and I will remind you on my blog too.