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Bone Hollow

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Gabe knows it was foolish to save that chicken. On the roof. In the middle of a storm. Yet Gabe also knows that his guardian, Ms. Cleo, loves the chicken more than him. After falling off the roof, Gabe wakes up to find his neighbors staring at him tearfully. 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. ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press (first published January 29th 2019)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  174 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gabe and his dog Ollie lives with his Aunt, Miss Cleo when his parents died. His Aunt makes him get her prize possession, Princess Carmela which is a chicken, up the roof. When the storm hits and the wind is stronger he falls of the roof making him die, but not really.

I really like it when he dies. I haven't read a book where the protagonist dies and continues as a ghost and I think its very creative.
I didn't really like how his neighbours react when hes a 'zombie'. They try to kill him again an
K.E. Woodruff
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I delved into Bone Hollow, my expectations were…low. It is middle grade fiction after all. I was expecting humor and silly characters, and in many ways, there were.

But Bone Hollow is so much more than that.

Bone Hollow is a charming tale about love, friendship, and loss. The plot focuses on Gabe and his untimely death thanks to a chicken rescue mission gone wrong. With his new place in life, he gets a fresh perspective on the people and world around him.

Having lost his parents and “Gramps” a
Roxy Moreno
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book “Bone Hollow” by Kim Ventrella is about a boy named Gabe. Gabe goes to save Ms. Cleo’s chicken, Princess Carmella, who is on the roof while a tornado is passing by. He gets blown away by the tornado and blacks out. When he wakes up, everyone is acting weird, except his dog, and they can’t seem to hear him. He finds out that he is dead, but still alive. His neighbor see him and think he is the devil and the town tries to kill him. He meets a girl named Wynne, who is also dead. Gabe now n ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
love love LOVE!! i thought it would be scary but there is only one part that is, but some parts are creepy. ✨💃🏻❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yabc-reviews
Find my full review here:

BONE HOLLOW follows Gabe, a young boy who lives with Miss Cleo, a woman who cares for him exactly as much as she has to since his parents and grandfather died. Gabe is happy enough to try to make it work, and that is why he is on a roof trying to rescue one of her chickens when a tornado arrives. Gabe soon wakes up to find odd scenes, including his dog Ollie being allowed in Miss Cleo’s house with him- and that no one seems to und
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks Kidlit Exchange and Scholastic for the ARC of Kim Ventrella’s compassionate and brilliant Middle Grade fantasy / folklore novel BONE HOLLOW!

Even Death needs an understudy, and eleven-year-old Gabe is It. When he climbs up on his odious guardian/foster mother Miss Cleo’s roof to rescue her prize-winning hen Princess Carmella, he’s impaled on a weathervane and…

Well, Gabe doesn’t remember dying, but he has a giant hole through his abdomen and people seem pretty upset to see him. He flees i
Ms. Yingling
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edeleweiss Plus

Gabe is trying to rescue Ms. Cleo's prized chicken from the roof when a hurricane hits and kills him. Since he wakes up and can hear everyone around him, he doesn't quite know that he is dead. His loyal dog, Ollie, remains by his side, but once he starts to roam around and attempt to talk to people, everyone is afraid of him and chases him out of town. Luckily, he meets Wynne, who takes him to Bone Hollow, feeds him, and gets him settled in. It's not easy to be dead but
Valerie McEnroe
This book is a mixed bag. The beginning hooked me. The ending came too soon. But the stuff in the middle needed something more solid holding it together.

When the book opens Gabe is up on a roof trying to rescue a chicken in the middle of a tornado for his less-than-likable guardian Miss Cleo. Darn interesting way to start a book. Things go black and when he wakes up, everyone is talking about him like he's not there. That's because he is, in fact, dead. Only he's kind of half dead. When he walks
Jo-ann Walsh
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
@kidlitexchange #partner
Thank you @kidlitexchange and @scholasticinc for the review copy of Bone Hollow. All opinions are my own. Bone Hollow was released in January of 2019.
Well, Kim Ventrella did not disappoint, with another book which tackles the difficult subject of death, yet makes kids see the peace, calm and beauty it can bring.
When a tornado sweeps Gabe off the roof of Miss Cleo’s house, he later wakes up in her bed. He is confused as to why people are coming to visit, but no one can hea
While the book description and some other readers seemed to regard this book as containing plenty of humor, I didn't find that to be the case. Maybe I was just in a more somber mood while reading it than others were, but most of it struck me as poignant and serious. My heart broke for poor Gabe, who dies while trying to rescue a chicken from the roof during a tornado. The chicken belongs to Miss Cleo, his caretaker, and seems to mean more to her than the boy. When Gabe wakes up after the wind bl ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give this 4.5 stars but I rounded up because I’m so happy and excited about this book!! 🌟🌟🌟

A young boy dies fairly early in this middle grade story. He becomes a living ghost - people can see him - and is befriended by Death herself. This is an unusual look at death, with the idea that there is a person who helps some people move from life to death. Death is compassionate and loving. I think it will touch kids who haven’t ever found a home they feel loved in; and comforting as they devel
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Bone Hollow by Kim Ventrella, 240 pages. Scholastic, 2019. $18.

Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.



After trying to rescue a chicken off the roof during a hurricane, Gabe wakes up in the bed of his less-than-likable guardian Miss Cleo. He has a hole straight through his torso and everyone is talking about him like he’s dead. He’s sure there’s been a mistake, but no, he is in fact deader than a doornail. He runs into the woods wi
Merrilyn Tucker
Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Gabe dies within the first few pages of this book, but his story continues. He is a wandering spirit still seen by his neighbors and with violent attacks, they run him out of town. Not alone, though, because he is accompanied by his best friend, his dog, Ollie. When he escapes the town, Gabe can find no peace. He is hungry, but cannot keep food down. He and Ollie find no shelter in the woods and they are desperate for a place to lay their heads. At last, a girl approaches him and invites him to ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gabe surely didn’t die because of a chicken...he doesn’t remember everything that happened on the roof, but he can’t be dead! He can walk, talk, and feel Ollie’s dog kisses, yet some peculiar happenings begin to occur that makes him think otherwise. Could he really be a ghost? With nowhere left to turn, Gabe runs for the woods where he meets mysterious Wynne who promises protection if he follows her. Bone Hollow is an imaginative and magical story—and place—written by Kim Ventrella and I loved i ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7g-la
Gabe, the protagonist in this book, is a kind boy. He faces a lot of tragic things, like losing his parents and grandpa at a young age. Gabe was trying to rescue a chicken on the roof when a tornado hits him and he blacks out. When Gabe wakes up, everyone was crying. No one seems to hear him talk, except for his dog. Gabe leaves with his dog, Ollie. After that, he meets a girl named Wynne, and she was kind enough to offer him a new home and befriend him. He later finds out the she is Death, and ...more
Elaine Fultz
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: soyamrg
Gabe is killed in a freak accident involving a fierce storm and a weather vane. He wakes up, sort of, and observes people mourning him. At first they don’t see him, but then they do and are terrified. Gabe runs away and eventually lands in Bone Hollow with Wynne, who he slowly realizes is Death, an escort who takes dying people to the light. Similar to the author’s Skeleton Tree, this is light darkness -- touches of whimsy and horror. Both of them push willing suspension of disbelief, but this o ...more
Ariel Kusby
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and delightfully odd allegory about friendship, bravery, and not fearing death, Bone Hollow is nice spin on a typical zombie story for middle graders. Gabe and Wynne subvert the typically ghoulish take on the undead because they are loving, kind, and just people. I loved the graceful personification of death, and the mix of unexpected ghostly sci-fi elements, Wynne’s lyrical mysticism, and light small-town details about chickens and stinky homemade toe-gel. The relationship between ...more
Nita Creekmore
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
@kidlitexchange #partner
I give this book ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Bone Hollow is a wonderful book full of mystery and suspense! Although Gabe falls off the roof after trying to save a chicken, he feels fine and wonders why everyone who comes in contact with him seems to ignore him. Weird. He flees from where he’s familiar after an incident occurs leaving him confused. Through his wandering, he meets Wynne. Things become even more strange after that! This book is perfect for children ages 9-12 who love myster
Book Reviews By Sophie McC
DNF - I have left this book sitting here on my 'Currently Reading' list for quite some time now. I always thought I would get back to it but I just could not get into the book. I am so grateful for winning a PDF version for a giveway by Kim Ventrella, so thank you, but sadly I could not engage with this book. Perhaps it is targeted for a younger audience. But, I will say, if I was reading this at a younger age then I would have enjoyed this book more. :)

I must say however, the synopsis and the b
Sarah Overvaag
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bone Hollow is a refreshingly unique view of Death, and how it is indiscriminate, even of the young. Gabe’s death at a young age is softened only by his dog’s refusal to leave his side. Despite the confusion and terror of Gabe’s one-time friends upon discovering his “undeath”, Gabe is found by a true friend, Wynne, and discovers that his life and death have a grander purpose than he ever imagined. Readers of all ages will be moved by this touching story of life, death, friendship and love.
Elizabeth Gray
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-books, maggie
Great book that really explores dying, how it feels to be left behind, people being fickle, and taking on responsibility. The writing style is neat because the protaganist's voice is a small-town, country dialect that makes you feel like you are right there with him. The writing is consistent and moves along well. There might have been one or two places where it dragged or felt like too much description but overall it was a great read. Maggie really liked it as well.
Eileen Winfrey
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really interesting story about a boy who dies...but doesn’t. Obviously his dead body wandering around scares the heck out of the people who knew him, and scares him as well; his subsequent wandering and discovery of what’s next after life but before the afterlife was fascinating. Were I on the reading team I’d recommend this book for the Sequoyah book award (the author is an Oklahoman too, extra exciting!)
Lisa Schmid
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bone Hollow started with a bang, and never let go. I knew that Gabe was dead but had no idea where the story was going. The suspense kept me turning the page well past midnight. Gabe was such a likable character. As a mom, I wanted to comfort him; as a reader, I was rooting for him. The ending was not what I suspected; it was even better! I loved this book on so many levels. I thought about it for days.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

Really enjoyed the book, but I thought the main characters reaction to things were a little off.

(view spoiler)

Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful story about seeing the good in people when there doesn’t seem like much good to see. I received an ARC from the publishing company. I enjoyed the story very much. The characters were very well written. Even Ollie, the dog, comes to life off the page. Just like in life, there were some difficult parts of the plot to swallow, but overall, this is a wonderful story.
Chris Coolman
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-fic
Brilliant. In the vein of The Graveyard Book, Bone Hollow draws you in and gives you a glimpse of a magical world beyond our understanding. Kim Ventrella has crafted a classic and if it wasn't for the last few chapters I'd have made it through without sobbing like a small child. Now I need to find a copy of Skeleton Tree, after I recover and restock my tissues. I absolutely loved this book. ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, friendship, j-fic
I wasn't crazy about this book--the first part dragged for me and it was a chore to read. It's always so hard for me to read about animals getting hurt, too, even though there are cruel people out there.

I thought this book took its time to make a point even though we all knew it was driving towards it. It got me in the feels when Ollie ended up being Death for other animals.
Wendy Thomas
There were definitely challenges to reading this book and I almost stopped because of a tough scene with violence against a dog. There was also violence against a child and some other pretty bleak stuff. BUT there was also a lot of love in it and I really appreciated the exploration of death. It was definitely suspenseful and the fast pace kept me riveted.
Sep 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
I really disliked this book. The violence just isn’t warranted at all and is not appropriate for a 4th/5th grader. There is constant beating and cruelty to the child- but when they started hitting the dog with a baseball bat- you lost me. I’d look elsewhere on the shelf when perusing a good book for young readers.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so glad to get the opportunity to read this lovely follow-up book to Skeleton Tree. While not a sequel, Bone Hollow has the same whimsical, mysterious feel to it that made Skeleton Tree so special. Highly recommended!!
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KIM VENTRELLA is the author of the middle grade novels HELLO, FUTURE ME (2020), SKELETON TREE (2017) and BONE HOLLOW (2019, Scholastic Press), and she is a contributor to the upcoming NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK anthology (2020, HarperCollins). Her works explore difficult topics with big doses of humor, whimsy and hope. Kim has held a variety of interesting jobs, including children’s lib ...more

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