Book Review – The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

“When you reach the stars, boy, yes, and live there forever, all the fears will go, and Death himself will die.”

I love this story so much – it’s one that I try to pick up every October if I can, ’cause the seasonal magic within the pages puts me in the Halloween mood every time I do. This wasn’t my first Bradbury book, but it was the first I’ve read aimed at a younger audience by him, and I really love that this is so accessible both to younger audiences as well as older ones (like me!).

THE HALLOWEEN TREE is about a group of boys that are out celebrating Halloween when one of their friends is whisked off in a terrifying way after inviting them to a spooky house, desperately needing to be rescued. The boys meet a mysterious, magical man that takes them across time and space to tell the origin stories of Halloween from different cultures and legends.

I enjoyed this a lot, although it felt a bit rushed at times – I would have liked to spend more time in each little locale, because it was so interesting learning about the different customs and traditions. I loved that each boy’s costume tied into the stories, and I loved the descriptions and prose used throughout the book – magical and whimsical and pretty, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland a few times. The edition I read had really neat illustrations as well, which was a really nice touch!

This book is short and quick enough to get through in less than an hour, and I feel it’s one of those stories that I’ll get a little bit more out of with each reread, which is why I love going back to it. This would be a great one to read to your kids at bedtime around this time of the year, if you have them!

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