The Halloween Tree
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The Halloween Tree

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  6,503 ratings  ·  565 reviews
On a Halloween night, eight boys are led on an incredible journey into the past by the mysterious ''spirit'' Moundshroud. Riding a dark autumn wind from ancient Egypt to the land of the Celtic druids, from Mexico to a cathedral in Paris, they will witness the haunting beginnings of the holiday called Halloween. Ray Bradbury's evocative prose and imagery will send shivers o...more
Audio CD, 1 page
Published August 1st 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published June 1972)
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this limited edition version of bradbury's halloween tree that was printed in 2004 is absolutely the version worth reading, entirely for the inclusion of his first submitted typescript.

see, knopf was interested in a straight-up juvenile book. bradbury wanted to write "a book for children of all ages." so, when the first knopf edition was published in 1972, there were a ton of cuts, largely to bradbury's wonderful descriptive passages.

also included are a ton of supplemental materials, including...more
Alex Telander
THE HALLOWEEN TREE BY RAY BRADBURY: I read this book every October because it’s the perfect Halloween book. It’s taken me a couple of readings, but I now finally realize that The Halloween Tree is the equivalent for Halloween what A Christmas Carol is for Christmas: an enchanting journey into the history of Halloween where one leans much and is changed by it.

A group of eight boys are on their way out to trick or treat on Halloween, all in different costumes – skeleton, mummy, gargoyle, etc. – an...more
What can I say about a book that has been described as the Halloween version of A Christmas Carol? I can say that it doesn't quite live up to that description. In fact, please ignore people calling it that because it only raises your expectations. *Sigh*

The best part of the story is obviously the artwork. Seriously, if you have eyes you will enjoy this aspect of the book.

The meat of the story is showing the children what Halloween meant to different cultures and how it evolved into the American...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
This might have been the first book I ever read where I felt a deep personal connection - a feeling that someone else somewhere had been dealt the same problems I had. A sense of camaraderie, all from the fictional characters in a book.

The theme of kids dealing with, battling with, the impending death of a friend, a fellow child, was a very personal one for me.

I remember my dad giving me the book, wanting me to read it. He said he thought I would like it. I think he knew I needed it. There are m...more
Aug 20, 2007 Luisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers, Harry Potter fans
Shelves: scififantasy
I read this book on a rainy school day in Saint Genevieve's H.S. library. I devoured this book!!! A bunch of boys get together and have to make a deal with Mr. Dark to save their friend's life as he lies dying....sacrifice the last year of their lives. So wonderfully expressed, as only Papa Ray can, and so imaginative in all the settings the boys travel to on Halloween night, including a tomb in Egypt. Great stuff!!
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marie Robinson for

Opening this book is like opening a present. Originally published in 1972, publisher Alfred A. Knopf has printed a new hardcover edition. The dust-jacket is beautifully illustrated, the book is of an unusual size. Everything about it says "special."

Inside, I was not disappointed. Bradbury swept me away with his opening scene:

"It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state. There wasn't so much wil...more
3 spine-tingling stars!!

Although The Halloween Tree is a perfect read for this holiday, I was still left slightly disappointed. I picked up this book on the hopes that it would frighten the living daylights out of me or at the very least have me shaking like a leaf. Sadly, that wasn’t the case here hence the 3 star rating. To be fair, there was a time when the hair on my arms did stand on end but I blame the cold draft in my house for that. *shifts eyes*

This is a perfect book for children and ge...more
Flashback: Fifth grade.

In the library of my elementary school, as a fifth grader, this book made its first mark on my life. I found it, and the cover image (different than the one featured here) really grabbed me.

When I finally found my way back to this one, almost five years later, I was surprised to find out it wasn't as long as I'd remembered. One thing that didn't change was my love for the characters and the way Bradbury points out the possibilities during that one smoky, damp and dark nigh...more
Julie Davis
It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state. There wasn't so much wilderness around you couldn't see the town. But on the other hand there wasn't so much town you couldn't see and feel and touch and smell the wilderness. The town was full of trees. And dry grass and dead flowers now that autumn was here. And full of fences to walk on and sidewalks to skate on and a large ravine to tumble in and yell across. And the town was full of...

It's that time of year again...

A fun romp through the ages with Mr. Bradbury. The book is indeed fast-paced, though holds in it more history than substance. The race to save Pipkin becomes a study of the holiday itself - and likewise, a look at comparative religion.

The final concept? Man has always been afraid of death, been afraid of the dark. We become afraid when we have the time to realise that death exists.

The book was good, would have been better had I read it when I was younger, before...more

I have a tradition of reading Charles Dickens every December. It may be a short story or a full length novel, but December is meant for Dickens. After having read The Halloween Tree, I have decided that I will now read Ray Bradbury every October. October is meant for Bradbury.

There is a lot to love about this book -- The Halloween Tree is the story of eight friends on Halloween trying to find their missing ring leader Pipkin. The search leads them to a dark, Gothic, haunted house with a tree cov...more
Batgrl (Not Trusting GR With My Reviews/Shelves Now)
This should be read every October, and the style really works well with being read aloud. Though I believe I'm basing that on my remembrance of the animated film of The Halloween Tree, I think it's probably true.

A few quotes:

P. 4 "...Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallow's Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes o
Beth Dolgner
I read this book every October to get myself in the Halloween mood. The book is written for tween boys, but it's still everything I want in a Bradbury novel: lyrical writing, a world where the supernatural blends easily with the natural, and fascinating characters.

The story follows eight boys who get an unusual treat on Halloween night: they are escorted throughout time and the world to see how Halloween is celebrated elsewhere. From the funeral processions of ancient Egypt, where “every day wa...more
"Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked."
-- The Halloween Tree, p. 4

Why do we dress up on Halloween? How did the tradition of trick-or-treating begin? Why are witches, sk...more
I feel guilty giving, "The Halloween Tree," by Ray Bradbury, OF ALL PEOPLE, only two stars. However, if I am being honest I cannot seem to rate this short story any better. "The Halloween Tree," started out as a magical adventure shared between eight boys on Halloween night. Unfortunately, the anticipation of this adventure, set on what is described as, "the spookiest of all nights," was more satisfying than the actual events themselves.
If I were just rating this book on prose alone, I would no...more
Picked up, on a whim, to read for Halloween. A good choice. The plot difficult to describe in just a few sentences. Probably the best way to put it is that this is the Halloween version of all of those "True Meaning of Christmas" stories. It's a perfect book for Halloween. It's also a quest narrative, of the race to save a friend variety.

To say that certain aspects of the book are simplistic might sound like an insult. Maybe it would be better to say "uncomplicated". The characters are barely mo...more
On Halloween night, a group of boys find themselves missing their leader, the most remarkable young Pipkin--and so, at the bidding of the ghastly Moundshroud, undertake a journey to discover the true meaning of Halloween and to rescue their friend. The Halloween Tree overlaps Bradbury's nostalgic and speculative writing, finding a home next to From the Dust Returned and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Its atmosphere is equally dark and magical, but its style is repetitive and twee with a cloyin...more
Listened 10/11/11 - 10/14/11
3 Stars - Recommended for readers familiar with audiobooks
2 CD's

Ray Bradbury and I have a strange author/reader relationship. Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorite novels of all time, where he forecasted a dark and dangerous future where books were banned and owning one could cost you your life. I found myself on the fence with The Martian Chronicles, where we colonize Mars and find ourselves face to face with Martians who look just like us. A fan of the film version o...more
Amanda Skinner
"The Halloween Tree" was my favorite halloween movie when I was little. I watched my taped off the TV version faithfully every year, until tragically it was taped over with a D-Day memorial. I was overjoyed to find out, years later, that the cartoon movie I had loved so much (which I can't bring myself to spend upwards of $50 plus shipping and handling to own again) was in fact based on the novel by Ray Bradbury!

It is a fantastic novel for anyone who has ever loved All Hallows Eve, and all of th...more
It's ALL HALLOWS EVE when seven young boys meet already costumed to go trick or treating and realize their friend Pipkin is missing. When they arrive at his house, Pipkin comes out of his house white faced holding his right side, but insists he is fine and will meet his friends at the haunted house. As he struggles to climb the hill, his friends see him whisked away into the sky. The search for Pipkin begins with a stop at the haunted house where they meet the mysterious Carapace Clavicle Mounds...more
While reading this book, I was constantly jumping between giving it a 3-star or a 4-star rating until I reached the second to last chapter. Then I thought I'd give it 3 and a half stars. However, after reading the final chapter and finishing the book, it well deserves an even 4 stars. While the book is a bit hard to follow, using very complicated and purposefully disjointed sentence structures, I still enjoyed the book. It had a unique plot and interesting concept. Some of the events were hard t...more
Edward Lorn
The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury, is to Halloween what Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is to Christmas. If the novella is not required reading, it should be. This short book proves that Halloween is so much more than a holiday created by candy bar companies, and is most certainly not a satanic celebration. From the tombs of Egypt to the underworld of Mexico during Dia de Los Muertos, Bradbury whisks us away on an autumnal wind. The journey is poignant and purposeful. What exactly would yo...more
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury is a short novel by the grandmaster that uses as a premise a group of trick or treating boys traveling through time chasing a mysteriously missing friends to create a vehicle for examining the roots and sources of Halloween.

Probably written for a juvenile or young adult audience, Bradbury demonstrates his range and imagination to craft a story that is as entertaining as any of his more recognized works.

The character Moundshroud, most likely as a personificati...more
Brian Clegg
I am a huge Bradbury fan, and while revisiting some of my old favourites, I noticed this book, which I had never read. It's a strange one. Set on Halloween it takes the classic group of Bradbury circa 11-year-old boys on a whirlwind tour around the world and through time to understand the background of Halloween, and to save their lost friend.

It starts much as you would expect, reminiscent in some ways of Bradbury's utter classic Something Wicked This Way Comes with the boys gathering for the Ha...more
Matt Garcia
Melancholy, grim and fantastical halloween tale. Bradbury paints a vivid picture of a sinister and dark autumn evening. His prose is poetic and sweeps the reader away into a land of enchantment that can appeal to all ages. I enjoyed the desolate, creepy imagery and felt that Bradbury captured the entire essence of what makes halloween so beloved and popular perfectly.
I know a lot of people who really love this children's book by Ray Bradbury. However, I'm not one of them. Like, yes. Love? not really. It seems a bit forced and a little rushed. On the other hand, there is all of that wonderfully flowery writing from the American master of fantasy. So I'll hedge and give this one three and a half stars.
La Noche de Brujas es una festividad incomprendida o banalizada, pero "El árbol de las brujas" es un homenaje amoroso y lúdico a la relación de la humanidad con la muerte, a través de las aventuras de un grupo de niños disfrazados de algunas de las "criaturas de la noche" que más se han afianzado en la psique humana (esqueletos, momias, fantasmas, brujas, etc.), acompañados por un ser misterioso conocido como Mortajaosario, quien los guía en un viaje de descubrimiento a través de la historia de...more
J.S. Bailey
What in the blue blazes did I just read? Also, Mr. Moundshroud is creepy.
The chilling beauty of this book is summoned up in the fierce, wonder of the phrases, where Bradbury twines the bizarre with the beautiful, the impossible with the improbable. It is gorgeously beautiful prose, from the very beginning to the very end, perfectly complemented by the illustrations.

A few examples: 'coloured green of forests jogged through, brown from old harvest trudges,'

'lurkings of black-ink stream and creek, lingerings of autumns that rolled over in fire and bronze'

'And during th...more
[Originally read April 23-April 29, 2011.]

(Note: I'm putting an update to my opinions at the end of this review, after a 2012 re-read.)

This is more like 2.5 stars (heck, maybe even 2.3), but I'm feeling generous.

I want to like Ray Bradbury. I really do. But I feel like I'm more impressed by the things I've read about him than the things I've read by him. I hear about all these great stories he came up with before they became cliches, and I have to respect his creativity.

Then I read one of his st...more
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Bibliophile Beauties: The Halloween Tree - October 2013 5 17 Nov 01, 2013 10:22PM  
  • October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween
  • Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween
  • Dark Harvest
  • Gods of The Nowhere: A Novel of Halloween
  • A Night in the Lonesome October
  • Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
  • Ollie's Halloween
  • Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth
  • Harold at the North Pole
  • Alabaster
  • The House With a Clock in Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt, #1)
  • The Scary Stories Treasury
  • Halloween: Spells, Recipes & Customs
  • Enter, Night
  • The Old Gods Waken (Silver John, #1)
  • A Catered Halloween (A Mystery with Recipes, #5)
  • The Irish Cinderlad
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec...more
More about Ray Bradbury...
Fahrenheit 451 The Martian Chronicles Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2) The Illustrated Man Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1)

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“The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.
Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.”
“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
More quotes…