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Chapter Ten - Kim Ventrella, Spooky Middle Grade author

Welcome to Chapter 10(!) of the Okie Bookcast! I'm excited that we've made it to this milestone and thankful for all of you who have joined the ride.

Quick reminder - the category for the Read Oklahoma Challenge this month is "A Book Set in Oklahoma". You can find a list of suggested titles on the web site - - don't forget you can also sign up to let me know you're joining me in the Challenge.

My guest today is Kim Ventrella. Kim is the award-winning author of four middle grade novels, including HELLO, FUTURE ME and THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM (HarperCollins), a 2021 Oklahoma Book Award winner and one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2020. Her novel BONE HOLLOW (Scholastic) was chosen as a 2019 Best Book for Kids by the New York Public Library, and SKELETON TREE was nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal in the UK. In addition to these novels, her short fiction has appeared in the anthology DON'T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS.

Beyond her own writing, Kim is dedicated to helping other authors - particularly young authors - improve their work. She has a couple of YouTube channels with content for emerging authors, does school visits, and teaches writing to kids through the Outschool platform. Kim is also one of the organizers of Spooky Middle Grade - a collection of authors who write spooky middle grade fiction - and offers editing services for writers needing a bit of assistance.

In our conversation, we talk about Kim's work, her process, her work with writers of all ages, and how a 5th-grade yearbook signing helped launch her career. You can connect with Kim and her work at or on social media @kimventrella.

Our reviewer is Casie Bazay. Casie is a former middle school teacher who now works as a freelance writer, editor, and author. Her debut YA novel, Not Our Summer, released from Running Press Kids/Hachette in May of 2021. In her spare time, Casie enjoys exploring the great outdoors, spending time at the barn with her horses and goats, reading, and watching movies. She lives on a hay farm in Oklahoma with her husband and two children but loves traveling to new and exciting destinations whenever she can.

You can connect with Casie and her work at or on social media @casiebazay on Twitter or @casiebazayyaauthor on Facebook.

Casie reviews Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis.

Mentioned on the Show:

Goosebumps - R.L. Stine

Out to Get You - Josh Allen

Only if You Dare - Josh Allen

A Touch of Ruckus - Ash Van Otterloo

Josephine Against the Sea - Shakirah Bourne

Arc of a Scythe series - Neal Shusterman

Bad Witch Burning - Jessica Lewis

Music by JuliusH

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