Illustrated by Victoria AssanelliAges 9 to 11
When Stanley Stanwright finds a bone poking out of the earth in his back garden, he is determined to take a picture of it and send it to the Young Discoverer's Competition, thinking it will help bring his dad back home. But the bone begins to grow, reaching up out of the ground until it turns into a skeleton – a skeleton with an unusual interest in his unwell younger sister Miren.
As time wears on, Miren's condition worsens, and the only time she is truly at peace is when she is playing with the skeleton. But Stanley is wary of him, especially when he finally manages to get a picture, and spots a scythe at the skeleton's feet. . .
Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella is a whimsical, heartfelt story about a boy who finds a friend in Death with the help of an unusual tree growing in his back garden. With black line illustrations throughout by Victoria Assanelli.
This is an amazing book and I would recommend it to people who like family stories and adventure stories.
Jessica Cobbin, age 10, for lovereading4kids.co.uk
Lovely book, showing how a child deals with grief and family problems, filled with fun, adventure, and emotion. I couldn't put it down - a tear jerker, but an amazing book that I will recommend to all.
Stanley, age 10, for lovereading4kids.co.uk
Skeleton Tree is an amazing story for sort hearted readers. I would rate it 10 out of 10 ... It wasn't hard to read and the story grips you so you want to read just one more page no matter where you are.
Isaac East, age 11, for lovereading4kids.co.uk