The Halloween Tree
On a Halloween night, eight boys are led on a journey into the past by the mysterious "spirit" Moundshroud. From ancient Egypt to the land of the Celtic druids, from Mexico to a cathedral in Paris, they will witness the haunting beginnings of Halloween.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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......more
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
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...more
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
-- 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
If I were just rating this book on prose alone, I would no...more
It took me a little bit to get used to Bradbury's writing style, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I loved that he touched upon all of my very favorite parts of Halloween, and I thought it was a unique way to tell...more
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
3 Stars - Recommended for readers familiar with audiobooks
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
It is a fantastic novel for anyone who has ever loved All Hallows Eve, and all of th...more
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
(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
The premise is a group of 12-year-old boys who are taken on a journey through history by a sort of spiritual guide to relive the many pagan rituals and festivities that have helped to form the way we celebrate Halloween now. So it’s educational in a very interesting and fun way and it also intersperses some really intense and even scary sc...more
This is a must read for Halloween lovers and children who love Halloween. I may still start it this year for my six year old if he's interested. Eight children go out to a haunted house to meet their friend Pipkin who will catch up later, and they end up on a journey learning about historical reasons for the...more
Share This Book
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.”
night came out from under each tree and spread.”