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The Halloween Tree

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  11,267 Ratings  ·  1,169 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 ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1972)
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Raja99 Pardon me for jumping in. The dramatized version resembles a radio adaptation; there are quite a few deletions from the text (including some of my…morePardon me for jumping in. The dramatized version resembles a radio adaptation; there are quite a few deletions from the text (including some of my favorite descriptive passages), some parts where one character describes to another what both of them can see (but the audience can't), and a fair amount of music that I personally found overdramatic. But tastes differ.(less)
The Halloween Tree by Ray BradburySomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyDracula by Bram StokerFrankenstein by Mary ShelleyScary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Best Halloween Books
1st out of 392 books — 489 voters
Dracula by Bram StokerThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanFrankenstein by Mary ShelleyThe Shining by Stephen KingThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Best Books to Read for Halloween!
12th out of 559 books — 603 voters

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Community Reviews

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Oct 17, 2014 Maciek rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Paul O'Neill
Jul 31, 2016 Paul O'Neill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be reading more Bradbury!

The writing in this is phenomenal, it's delight to read. I'm not sure why, but the images in my head when reading this were very Tim Burton-esque.

What are some of his other works that I should check out? Besides Fahreinheit 451 that is...
Gregor Xane
Oct 04, 2014 Gregor Xane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
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 he
This was a fun and quirky read for Halloween. Ray Bradbury has a great way of painting a myriad of images in his writing. I adored the illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini! When I started this book, I was hooked immediately and thought this was going to be my 5 star Halloween book for the year. "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 ...more
I struggled a lot with how this book was written, because of that I had a hard time following alone with what was going on.

I plan on watching the movie though, and I hope I enjoy that wayyy more!
Nov 03, 2007 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 02, 2016 Kenny rated it it was amazing

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 an old, dark, Gothic, haunted house with a tr
Wayne Barrett

At my age I can no longer climb trees like a monkey or sail through the air, leaping over hedges as I sprint down the street. At least, not physically. But because of writers like Ray Bradbury, I can still do these things in my mind. I can escape into the far reaches of my mind and become a boy again, leaping, running... and being able to lose myself in the innocence of fantasy and make-believe.
This is a great adventure and glimpse into the heart of All Hallows Eve. And it is done masterfully t
Oct 16, 2014 Char rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 31, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
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
Jun 23, 2015 Ctgt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
 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
Aug 13, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it
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
Oct 23, 2015 Panagiotis rated it really liked it
Μέσα από αυτήν την όμορφη ιστορία ο Bradbury μιλάει για την ιστορία του Χάλογουιν. Και τι όμορφα που την λέει!

Για να πώ την αμαρτία μου, δεν είχα διαβάσει κανένα βιβλίο του μέχρι τώρα. Αν και δεν είναι αντιπροσωπευτικό της επιστημονικής φαντασίας με την οποία έγινε γνωστός, φανερώνει έναν καταπληκτικό αφηγητή. Η ιστορία των 8 νεαρών αγοριών, που το βράδυ του Χάλογουιν, ταξιδεύον στον χώρο και στο χρόνο, με ξεναγό τους μια γκροτέσκα, σκιαχτική φιγούρα, είναι εξαιρετικά δοσμένη,. Η φωνή του Bradb
Oct 01, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybooks
It is Halloween Night. Tom Skelton and friends are about to go trick or treating together, but someone is missing. Where's their friend Pipkin? Searching for answers, they head to the house of the mysterious and sly Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud who takes them on magical tour of Halloweens past to find Pipkin and learn about Halloween itself. Will they succeed on their journey? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read. I have only seen the animated film version of this book
Edward Lorn
Oct 28, 2013 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Vishakha Motwani
Feb 06, 2016 Vishakha Motwani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This was my first Halloween + Ray Bradbury book and sure not the last one!

Such an entertaining and interesting read, I'm looking forward to reading more of his works.

This one is a little spooky and for kids (as well as me) quite an interesting story about what Halloween is.

It's fun horror and fun spooky.

Overall, I loved Ray Bradbury's writing and little poems in between, the narration added music to the story. What a lovely read!
Edward Lorn
Oct 31, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
"It was like sweet and and sour sauce in book form. Not too sweet and not too sour."

That's a direct quote from my nine-year-old daughter.

I've read this book every year since I was seven years old. It was, as far as I can remember, my first experience with "horror" in literature, even if it's not a scary book. It's one of the main reasons I love Halloween as much as I do: the tradition, a holiday even older than Christmas, a celebration of those we've lost. It also captures the reckless, carefre
Maria Benitez
Pues no era para nada lo que me pensaba.
Estoy dudosa con qué puntuación ponerle porque me ha resultado insustancial, pero si que esta "muy bonito" escrito.
En la psinosis promete contar las historia de unos niños en la noche de Halloween donde se supone que va a dar un repaso a los origenes de dicha fiesta y lo único que hace es nombrar cada civilizacion y nombrar muy escuetamente las características más destacables de ellas en cada lugar y época pero no explica nada. Ejemplo: En Mexico se hacen
Quentin Wallace
Oct 11, 2014 Quentin Wallace rated it liked it
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.
Aug 20, 2007 Luisa rated it really liked it
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!!
Oct 26, 2015 SUSAN rated it it was amazing
This is a consummate Halloween story. I have a copy of the book,published by Yearling,the graphics are wonderful.
If you have never read Bradbury you are missing out on a wonderful writer.

Adam Light
Oct 08, 2015 Adam Light rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bradbury, own-it, e-book
First time reading this. Absolutely beautiful! A must read!
Audiobook read by actor Bronson Pinchot.

What a fun little Halloween classic from 1972. It's a tale about eight friends who, on Halloween, learn a bit about history, death and all hallow's eve on a time travel trip in this fun and scary tale. The audiobook narration was fabulous by Bronson Pinchot and I highly recommend it. I see the illustrations for newer editions of the regular book are wonderful as well. Since it's a pretty short read, it would be fun to listen to the audio while following al
Julie Davis
I'm reading this specifically for an upcoming podcast discussion, but would probably be doing it anyway. October cries out for Ray Bradbury and this book.

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
Mar 26, 2015 Mariana rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, terror
Si tuviera que elegir una lectura clásica para el día de brujas, una que leyera cada año alrededor de una fogata, definitivamente sería este libro.

La pluma de Ray Bradbury nos ofrece una narración macabra pero ingeniosa, enrtretenida y a la vez ilustrativa.

Para quienes no lo sepan, The Halloween Tree, es la historia de un grupo de niños que durante la noche del 31 de octubre emprenden un viaje a través del tiempo y del espacio, mientras observan y participan en diversas tradiciones que tienen
Oct 13, 2016 Erika rated it really liked it
This was such a delightful read.
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
Oct 15, 2012 Rayna rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sigh. I'm trying to get out of my reading funk. No physical or audiobook has really been able to keep my attention lately, or podcast, or music, and my brain tapped out for two weeks on learning Spanish in my car. I have SO MANY GREAT BOOKS all around me- on my kindle, in my library, at the actual library, and on my audible. It just doesnt matter what I pick up, I'm just not in the mood.

Enter the Halloween Tree. Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of my favorite books. I thought it perfectly
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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 ...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…