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The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
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The Halloween Tree (1972)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,803595,823 (3.85)108

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Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I think this a great very engaging book. I liked that it was about a fun time travel adventure and the main characters are boys. I think that it is important to have books like this to encourage little boys to keep reading even though they usually get discouraged because they can't relate to what they are reading ( )
  s_cat1 | Oct 15, 2018 |
My parents gave me this book for Halloween when I was in third grade. I loved it. It had a special place in my backpack for the rest of the year. I still have that copy, years and years later, dog eared, worn, with purple pages due to an unfortunate marker leak. I re-read it every now and again, when I am in the mood for all things Halloween. This book makes me nostalgic for things I never experienced, in the best way. ( )
  UnderSun | Oct 15, 2018 |
This book is written in classic Bradbury prose. It's mesmerizingly descriptive, but it can get tedious at times. Personally, I prefer [b: Fahrenheit 451|4381|Fahrenheit 451|Ray Bradbury|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1351643740s/4381.jpg|1272463] and [b: Something Wicked This Way Comes|248596|Something Wicked This Way Comes|Ray Bradbury|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1409596011s/248596.jpg|1183550], but it's hard to top this one for a pure Halloween read.

In truth, I was hoping this book would be something different. I love the haunted house, mysterious and skeletal Mr. Moundshroud, and of course the boys in their Halloween costumes. I love the image of the Halloween tree with the lighted pumpkins. But turning this into a time-travel book showing how different cultures have celebrated the dead throughout history wasn't the spooky book I was hoping for. You have the Egyptians, Romans, Druids, and Mexicans influencing the holiday we celebrate today. Mixed in with this lesson is the disappearance of their friend Pipkin. He keeps turning up on this voyage, needing rescue, but the boys can't get to him. Finally, they are given the opportunity to save Pipkin, but only if each of them is willing to make a sacrifice.

In short, it's too much of a history lesson for me. This is Mr. Moundshroud's fault. I wanted more of a spooky story where the boys are actively tracking down Pipkin. If Mr. Moundshroud had only been present at the beginning and end, and the boys were left on their own to piece together Halloween, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

( )
  valorrmac | Sep 21, 2018 |
When I was younger I remember watching a cartoon about a group of kids who go on this wild adventure one Halloween night to find their friend drifting through space and time. It was only until I became an adult that I finally figured out the cartoon was called "The Halloween Tree" based on the book by Ray Bradbury. Since then I had listened to the book twice, once as a radio play and the other as an audiobook and I think this is probably the most appropriate way to enjoy it. Having a narrator other than yourself can add an extra element of suspense and creepiness to the story. The book is about a group of boys in some midwestern town ready to go out on Halloween night. However, they can't go out without their friend Pipkin. The boy embodies the Halloween spirit, it just wouldn't be right to go without him. When they finally arrive at his house, they find him being carried away in an ambulance. Then they see what appears to be his spirit running across the fields, following it they come upon the house of Mr. Monshroud and his tree full of jack-o-lanterns. What ensues is a subtle history lesson about the origins of Halloween and what makes us scared. Watching the cartoon as a child, the story was indeed creepy but I was enraptured. I too wanted to know more about Halloween and why we as humans like to be scared. Coming back to it as an adult, I still had that same feeling. Bradbury does such a great job of creating familiar places and imbues them with a sinister air. The one passage where I can recall that is when he describes the route to boys take in following Pipkins spirit. It's valleys and ditches that any child would play in during the daytime but in the dark on Halloween night they are something much much more. They are hideouts for things that go bump in the night and exist on the periphery of every child's imagination. I would say read this book but also listen to this book and have it read to you. It's such a completely different experience. ( )
  melissa_tullo | Jun 28, 2018 |
Some of my reading friends on Litsy mentioned this great book, and then the audio version was on sale. Plus the narrator is Bronson Pinchot! What a joy the audio version is, with vocal sound effects and creative character voices. I loved it so much that I also bought the ebook for its gorgeous illustrations.

I was struck multiple times by the way Ray Bradbury uses the English language to create evocative scenes. His words draw vivid visual and audible details in your imagination! Bradbury is a true master of his craft and the language.

He also takes us to a simpler time when a group of young teen boys could safely roam free on Halloween. Bradbury fuses history, legend, and social commentary in a wild night's fantastical romp. Despite the fact I've never spent a Halloween night quite this way, every word made me feel like I was in the midst of the adventure.

This will be on my reading schedule for the week of Halloween from this year forward! ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradbury, Rayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinchot, BronsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
With love for MADAME MAN'HA GARREAU-DOMBASLE met twenty-seven years ago in the graveyard at midnight on the Island of Janitzio at Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico, and remembered on each anniversary of the Day of the Dead.
First words
It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state.
Quotations
Night came out from under each tree and spread. [3]
The tall man shut up his smile like a bright pocketknife. [21]
"The Undiscovered Country. Out there. Look long, look deep, make a feast. The Past, boys, the Past. Oh, it's dark, yes, and full of nightmare. Everything that Halloween ever was lies buried there. Will you dig for bones, boys? Do you have the stuff?" [32]
But in that instant of darkness, the night swept in. A great wing folded over the abyss. Many owls hooted. Many mice scampered and slithered in the shadows. A million tiny murders happened somewhere.

The clouds, like gauzy scenes, were pulled away to set a clean sky. The moon was there, a great eye. [38]
The scythe fell and lay in the grass like a lost smile. [45]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375803017, Paperback)

Special indeed are holiday stories with the right mix of high spirits and subtle mystery to please both adults and children--Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," for example. Or Ray Bradbury's classic The Halloween Tree. Eight boys set out on a Halloween night and are led into the depths of the past by a tall, mysterious character named Moundshroud. They ride on a black wind to autumn scenes in distant lands and times, where they witness other ways of celebrating this holiday about the dark time of year. Bradbury's lyrical prose whooshes along with the pell-mell rhythms of children running at night, screaming and laughing, and the reader is carried along by its sheer exuberance.

Bradbury's stories about children are always attended by dread--of change, adulthood, death. The Halloween Tree, while sweeter than his adult literature, is also touched at moments by the cold specter of loss--which is only fitting, of course, for a holiday in honor of the waning of the sun.

This is a superb book for adults to read to children, a way to teach them, quite painlessly, about customs and imagery related to Halloween from ancient Egypt, Mediterranean cultures, Celtic Druidism, Mexico, and even a cathedral in Paris. (One caveat, though: Bradbury unfortunately perpetuates a couple of misconceptions about Samhain, or summer's end, the Halloween of ancient Celts and contemporary pagans.) This beautiful reprint edition has the original black-and-white illustrations and a new color painting on the dust jacket. --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:35 -0400)

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A group of children and a "spirit" go back through time to discover the beginnings of Halloween.

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