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The Halloween Tree

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  6,847 ratings  ·  611 reviews
"A fast-moving, eerie...tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for th...more
Paperback, 149 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1972)
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The Halloween Tree by Ray BradburyGods of The Nowhere by James TipperSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Bo HamptonDracula by Bram Stoker
Best Halloween Books
1st out of 301 books — 401 voters
Dracula by Bram StokerGods of The Nowhere by James TipperThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Shining by Stephen KingFrankenstein by Mary Shelley
Best Books to Read for Halloween!
18th out of 361 books — 473 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gregor Xane
I often find Ray Bradbury's writing a bit precious. At some point in his career it seems to me that he became more concerned with being a GREAT AUTHOR than simply telling a great story. And, yes, I felt that way sometimes while listening to The Halloween Tree.


And that's a rather large 'BUT.'

But, with The Halloween Tree he did manage to pull off the gorgeous poetic prose, the grand imagery, while telling a wonderful story. I don't use the word 'wonderful' often in a serious manner, but her...more
This book and I have a history, and one which I wasn't even aware of until I have actually read it. Years and years ago, I saw an opening snippet of a Halloween movie on Cartoon Network - it was October and they had Halloween-themed cartoons running all day long, from the Addams Family to special episodes of Scooby Doo...but this one caught my attention: it was a full length animation, and the opening scene featured a bird's eye view on a small town, where dusk had just began to fall, and the sk...more
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
I listened to this story so as to participate in the Literary Horror Group's October read. I have long been planning to read more of Ray Bradbury's work, so I jumped on this opportunity. (Mostly thanks to Edward Lorn through whose contest I won the audiobook version. Thanks again, Ed!)

I enjoyed this fanciful tale even though it wasn't a bit scary. In fact, I would categorize this as more of a dark fantasy, though labels are just labels, in the end. As was true of the 2 other Bradbury stories I'v...more
     Remember back to your days as a kid... 

those days of unfettered imagination

when nothing seemed impossible?

This book took me back there for just a moment.

Bradbury spins a modern day(relatively speaking) fairy tale with a focal point of eight friends who gather for Halloween. While an undercurrent of adolescent loss tugs at the edge of your awareness, the author takes us on a trip through the death legends of a variety of world cultures.

The eight friends, after meeting with their missing nint...more
In one of his earlier novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury warned to “Beware the autumn people”. Despite issuing this caution, I’m convinced that Bradbury saw himself as an ‘autumn person’, given his fascination with the season and all that it symbolises: the lush growth of summer dying away; the Earth’s final death-rattle before the long, cold, still of winter; the ever-encroaching darkness.

I, too, am one of the autumn people. I’m not about to bore you with the details here, but th...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
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!!
The Halloween Tree is perfect to be listened. I kept imagining a voice telling this story. It is probably wonderful. Still, it didn't touch me as it probably would if I were a thirteen year old boy.

This is a lovely horror story for younger audience; a story of friendship and one Halloween night. A group of thirteen year old boys end up learning more about the holiday than they had expected while trying to catch up with their elusive friend Pipkin.

The atmosphere of the story is perfect for this t...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...

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
Quentin Wallace
I liked this one. In this story Bradbury basically gives an abbreviated history of Halloween and also shows how different countries and cultures celebrate the holiday, all wrapped up in an interesting story. It also made me think back to what Halloween was like as a child, and the nostalgia was nice. Some of the writing gets a bit complicated, almost reading like stream-of-consciousness, but overall it was good. I'd recommend this for readers of all ages who love Halloween.
Oct 15, 2012 Rayna rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
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
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
Randolph Carter
I'm giving it five stars because it's classic Bradbury and in 1972, when it was published, I would have given it five stars.
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
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
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
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
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
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Literary Horror: * October 2014 Monthly Read: The Halloween Tree 34 27 Oct 16, 2014 05:26PM  
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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
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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…