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The Halloween Tree Paperback – September 7, 1999
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From the Inside Flap
-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
From the Back Cover
"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
Top customer reviews
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The stories purpose is to tell the reader some aspects of the long and convoluted history that forms our modern understanding of Halloween traditions. And it does a good job of that, having a group of 8 boys dressed up in classic Halloween monster costumes being wisked to different time periods to examine how the people of those time viewed Halloween and how they connect to the costumes.
Their guide on this Journey is a Mr. Moundshroud who is rather entertaining in his speech and manner, and much more pleasant then his movie counterpart, with the book not really telling his true nature until the end.
The driving force of the book, the reason the boys are doing this, is to find their friend Pipkin who has been taken by death. And this is one of the book's weaknesses. Though the boys are traveling through time, Moundshroud makes it understood early on that they can't save Pipkin until they reach their final destination, so from that narrative point the adventure is incidental with only the end goal having any importance.
The other weak point of this story is the boys themselves. It takes the entire book to learn all of their names and they have virtually no personality. The majority of the time they lack individual dialogue and are written as just chanting a word someone else says or "Yes, Yes."
So to sum up, a pretty good book to explain to young readers where Halloween comes from. But not for readers who are looking for real character driven stories where the journey is as important as the end goal. If that is what you are after I would actually recommend the movie.
Ray Bradbury spins the tale of a group of friends looking for the ultimate halloween scare. Trick or treating simply is not good enough and so they sneak out a haunted house. When they arrive however it os not unoccupied and they are taken on a journey through history by Mr. Mounshoud to learn about different cultures representations of halloween. They race through Egypt, Rome, France, Mexico and other wonderful places trying to save their frind Pipkin while learning how the different countries celebrate and honor their loved ones who have passed on.
I am always fond of Ray Bradbury books, but I have to go with four stars because sometimes his writing style looses me. I will be reading along and suddenly feel like the subject matter changed without a clear path as to how we got here or where we are now. I recommend this book for anyone looking for some light educational reading on a very interesting subject.