If you haven’t read The Halloween Tree, go to your library right now and pick up a copy. This is a children’s classic, a Halloween classic, and an all-around great story.
Ray Bradbury is best known for two things: great science fiction and Fahrenheit 451, which nearly every American has to read at some point in public school. Ironically, I think it’s one of my least favorite Bradbury works; I absolutely love nearly everything else he’s written, but I think his writing style is more suited to poetic, nostalgic works like Dandelion Wine.
And The Halloween Tree, of course. The Halloween Tree is an old favorite of mine about a group of trick-or-treaters who have to save their friend Pipkin – the rip-roaringest, girl-hatingest, frog-catchingest boy who ever lived – from Death Himself. And while the group of costumed boys follow the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud on a chase through time, they have to face Halloween in all its most ancient forms, from ancient Egypt to Greece to the English druids. The story is breathtaking, and the writing makes you ache for the smell of raw, carved pumpkins and the dying grass beneath your feet.
Do yourself a favor this Halloween and pick this one up. And if you’re looking for more Bradbury after that, pick up some of his scary short stories or a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes. You will not be disappointed. ♥