The Halloween Tree

Review From User :

They thought of All Hallows' Night and the billion ghosts awandering the lonely lanes in cold winds and strange smokes.
The Halloween Tree ~~ Ray Bradbury

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 Bradbury's The Halloween Tree, I have decided that I will now read Ray Bradbury every October. October is meant for Bradbury .

There is so much to love about this book ~~ The Halloween Tree is the story of eight friends who, on Halloween, try to find their missing ring leader, Pipkin. The search leads them to an old, dark, Gothic, mansion, haunted of course, with a tree covered in lit jack-o-lanterns, the Halloween tree. It is here we meet Moundshroud who offers to help them find Pipkin, but they need to learn the truth about Halloween first. From here, we are given a tour of Halloween and Halloween-like celebrations from around the world, from Ancient Egypt to modern-day Mexico.

Bradbury is a masterful storyteller. What is amazing here is Bradbury takes the concept of death and the ending of one's own life from a personal to a worldly discussion. More than that, we learn what it is like to live and grow and even mor importantly, about the fluidity of life ~~ not an easy task to be sure.

There is so much more I could say here, but I don't want to spoil this for others. This is a book to read and reread many times. I consider The Halloween Tree a classic and a wonderful surprise for me.

“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.”

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