The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree

4.1 27
by Ray Bradbury, Joseph Mugnaini
     
 

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"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

Overview

"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 their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin's. Enhanced by appropriately haunting black-and-white drawings."—Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

When young Pipkin becomes ill and is whisked away into the mysterious darkness of the Halloween tree, his friends must race through space and time to save him. With a peculiar old man named Moundshroud to guide them, the kids encounter the many earlier manifestations of the holiday known as Halloween. The voice talent for this production matches well with the predominant characters of young boys, and Jerry Robbins plays Moundshroud with a good eccentric and maniacal tone. While there are sound effects, they are mostly limited to ambient vocals in the background and wind, never utilizing the more calm-fracturing accoutrements like slamming doors or dishes breaking. A wealth of music complements the story and gives the listener a sense of plot progression, although some of the singing feels a bit overdone. (Sept.)

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From the Publisher
"If you want to know what Halloween is, or if you simply want an eerie adventure, take this mystery-history trip. You couldn't have a better guide than Ray Bradbury."--Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375803017
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
104,726
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Ray Bradbury lives in Los Angeles.
Joseph Mugnaini lives in California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
August 22, 1920
Place of Birth:
Waukegan, Illinois
Education:
Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California
Website:
http://www.raybradbury.com

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Halloween Tree 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you¿ve ever wondered what inspired our Halloween traditions, this lyrical book will provide some fascinating clues. It all starts when Tom Skelton (who masquerades as a skeleton) and his crew of friends prepare for Trick or Treat on Halloween night. Alas, they are one person short. Pipkin, boy of all boys, is unable to join them in the festivities, but he points them in the direction of a haunted mansion and Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud. While the prose is like taking a trip through the Twilight Zone with all the bizarre twists and turns and difficult plot lines to follow, it is a fascinating enough ride. This is a book that is best read aloud since the language just drips off the tongue. I recommend it for classes related to history or English.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book to me was a very very interesting, spine tingling hororr and I enjoyed every bit of it!! This would be a great book to sit down and really get your eyes glued to the pages. It is absolutely a great book!!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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 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...

Boys.

And it was the afternoon of Halloween.

And all the houses shut against a cool wind.

And the town was full of cold sunlight.

But suddenly, the day was gone.

Night came out from under each tree and spread."

This scene sets the tone for the entire book. THE HALLOWEEN TREE is as classic a Halloween story as A CHRISTMAS CAROL is for Christmas. It is about a group of boys, all friends, ages 11-12, who dress up for their annual night of Halloween mischief and go trick or treating. The boys find themselves at a particularly spooky mansion in a dark ravine, with a Marley-the-ghost door knocker and a gigantic tree covered with jack-o-lanterns. As the jack-o-lanterns light up one by one, the boys realize they are in the presence of a Halloween Tree, and that something very special is about to happen.

The resident of the house, the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud, takes the boys on a fantastic journey through traditions of Halloween past. This story is part history lesson, but the history is provided in such a compelling way that your average reader won't even realize he or she is learning something.

Perhaps the only downside to this story is that it is so dominantly geared toward a male audience. All of the major characters are male. Though, being female myself, I could get lost in the spookiness of the narrative.

Bradbury uses his trademark short sentences which are short on exposition but long on crafting a mood. The story is spooky without ever being scary, and is sure to delight kids of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Would you risk your life to go trick-or-treating? That¿s how it is for Tom Skeleton In the book the Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. There is a 13 year old boy named Tom Skeleton. He is always afraid of the house neat house. There is always lightning and thunder around the haunted house. Inside the house are black walls that are so black it looks like coal. Beside the house there is a humongous tree one-thousand feet tall. The tree has more than two-hundred pumpkins on it, and has four- hundred eyes, with two-hundred smiles smiling at you. He comes up to the house and rings the doorbell. A mummy comes up to the door, Tom says trick-or-treat. What happens to Tom you will have to read this book to find and what the mummy does. I love this book because it kept me turning pages and pages. At the end of the book it gets very spooky. I would recommend this book for people that love scary books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not you're average book. It is a history lesson (but don't let that scare you away)and a fantasy. Not his best work, but over all a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great adventure this book is! This is a tale of eight small town boys who enter a scary supernatural world after they meet a spooky old fellow by the name of Mr. Moonshroud. Mr. Moonshroud has otherwordly powers and shows the boys the mysterious and terrifying Halloween Tree, a huge old tree laden with Halloween Jack 'O Lanterns that sway in the chilly night air. The boys are taken on a breathtaking journey beyond space and time where they learn the secret customs and folklore of the world. I can think of no other author who is able to evoke the wonder of childhood better than Ray Bradbury, and this story is one of his best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read about Halloween and the legends and lore behind it. It is really interesting and you learn a lot in a very entertaining way while reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book every fall, just to remember when Halloween was about ghosts and goblins and not Wal-Mart costumes and poisoned candy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its the best book i've ever read. It's full of haunts and laughs plus it's during halloween which gives it a special scary feeling
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the Ray Bradbury books I've read, and there's a lot, The Halloween Tree is definately one of the greatest. Ray Bradbury's prose read like poetry and engage the reader in a fantastic journey through time and space to learn of the origins of Halloween. This novel is full of laughs, frights, and suspense. What's more, is this novel is perfect for kids and adults. I've read it every year at Halloween for the last 10 years, and will continue to do so for many to come. It's that good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury never ceases to amaze me! This book is wonderful not only for the story but how it's told. Mr. Bradbury has an incredible gift with words and descriptions! The characters are wonderful. An excellent book for all ages. Best read before a warm fire with hot cider on a chilly autumn evening
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is great for all ages and if you see the movie (cartoon) it's great for kids as well as parents to read and to watch.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book in Jr High back in Waukegan, IL. Ray Bradbury is a wonderful writer for young children and older. I wish I was able to buy the earlier copies back then because now it's expensive to have! This book is a must-have to pass down to your children. I don't have any yet, but I'm definitely buying this book. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lsutton91 More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to find this unique Halloween story on the shelves of my local middle school. I grew up watching the movie every year at Halloween, and this year I thoroughly enjoyed diving deeper into the story through Bradbury's book. It's got great descriptions, a fast pace, and provides a brief history lesson in a fun way. I'd definitely recommend this as a family read for households with children ages 10-13 (and seeing as I'm 22 years-old, the young at heart will also enjoy this book!).
Juanderful More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I love Halloween and even as a child, I loved reading books about this holiday. This is a great story and is written so that it is not insulting to children. Moundshroud is a bit spooky and what happens to Pipkin is very interesting. It is one of those books that I could read again and enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WTVCrimeDawg More than 1 year ago
I love Ray Bradbury's writing. The Halloween Tree is geared toward kids, with a 4.7 reading level, but I still enjoyed it, and it seemed appropriate for early autumn. The art and illustrations complement the writing very well. I thought Bradbury used too many similes in this one, but I'm sure that was his attempt to show the young readers his vivid details, and he could've developed some of the characters better than he did. Even so, he does a nice job of explaining the history and origins of All Hallow's Eve within the context of his imaginative conflict and plot, and he always entertains me with his unique voice and writing style.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect choice for an audio book...the sounds effects are outstanding and make the story so entertaining. ****FIVE STARS****
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a wierd book. it was so confuseing . it took me a long time to figure out what it was about. but it was a good book. it is very discriptive and interesting.