The Halloween Tree – Ray Bradbury

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The Halloween Tree was a phenomenal book that really surprised me. I read one comment online and knew it was the perfect book for my Halloween Night reading. It had everything I could have wanted from a book for that specific time of the year.

The Halloween Tree tells the story of 8 costumed boys ready to indulge in the fun of Halloween. As they run to an old Haunted House to meet the final member in their group of friends, Pipkin, the boys find Mr Mountshroud, an eerie, wise being. Next to the house stands a tree with hundreds of carved pumpkins, shining brightly and swinging off branches. As the boys watch, their friend Pipkin runs to join them only to be swept away in a great darkness. The boys must travel through time and history to locate their friend Pipkin before he becomes consumed fully into the darkness.
This book is fun, informative and possesses an interesting insight into the history of halloween. As each of the boys dress as beings from another time, they are transported to the time of Egyptian rule, Druid England, European Witch Hunts and Mexican celebrations of the dead to learn the origins of their disguises. Amongst this they must try to find and save Pipkin before it is too late.
As the boys time hop, the setting changes throughout the plot and Bradbury describes each place perfectly. I could imagine each town, city and village clearly in my head along with the mystical Gods and characters that dominate the storyline. Much of the plot is dark and unnatural, some areas were strange and eerie to read and yet I couldn’t put the book down.
Bradbury writes in a fast paced, easy to follow and simultaneously an intellectual style. I learned so much from this book and yet I can’t decide whether it is primarily aimed at younger readers as I would recommend it to any age. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads for it’s unique style and the fact that I would most likely read it again. I feel like despite reading it only a few days ago that there is so much more to the plot that I overlooked. It seems littered with mystery and underlying facts and lessons. It gave me a new appreciation for Halloween and the urge to research more ancient celebrations out of sheer interest. Definitely recommended to anyone, I would find it hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t enjoy some aspect of this book.
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