Plot: A group of eight friends, all boys, get all dressed up in their best costumes and head out to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. They soon discover that a ninth Friend, Pipkin, has been taken away on an adventure that could possibly be the end of his life. With the help of a shrouded guy named Moundshroud, the boys chase after their friend across space and through time. Traveling through such places as Ancient Egypt and Greek all the way to Mexico on the Day of the Dead. The origins of Halloween is revealed through their travels, as well as, the role of death and how it has shaped civilization.Will the boys reach Pipkin in time to save him and will he be the same in the end?
Review: Ray Bradbury’s work always has a meaningful core that slaps you in the face and makes you understand things on a whole new level and that is just what The Halloween Tree does. The Halloween Tree represents the influences for the traditions of different cultures have about Halloween and how they all merge into one. Pipkin is taken on a journey of life and death and his friends chase after him trying to keep him alive, along the way they learn the origins of Halloween and how other cultures celebrate the holiday. In the end, each boy gives up a year of his life for Pipkin so that he can live. Children will love this story’s lyrical text and learning about the origins of Halloween.
Reading Level/Interest Level: 4.7/5-8 graders
Similar Materials: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
Reader’s Advisory: I used to watch this movie every year during Halloween, so I had to buy the book. It was just as good as the movie. This is a great story for children interested in Halloween and it’s origins and how other cultures celebrate the holiday. I highly recommend this book, Ray Bradbury is a fabulous author. His books are imaginative and come to life.