A short Ray Bradbury novel from 1972 about a group of children who are taken on a quest through time to save their dying friend on Halloween night. Their guide is the ghoulish Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, who leads them through the many times and places which have contributed folklore and customs to the modern celebration of Halloween.

Bradbury and Moundshroud take us to the tombs of ancient Egypt, to Ireland and Samhain in the days of the druids, to the Burning Times in Europe, to gargoyle-festooned Notre Dame, to el Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. In the end, the boys must make a final sacrifice and a bargain with the forces of the dead before they can finally save their friend.

Like so many of Bradbury's stories, this one is a strange combination of horror and childlike wonder. If you love Halloween and if you can handle Bradbury's use of fantasy and poetic language (not everyone can, you know), then I recommend this book highly.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury was also made into a animated movie in 1993. It features the voice of Ray Bradbury as the narrator and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Moundshroud.

I remember first watching it as a little kid on public television every October. It was magical. It had just the right mix of horror and...well, that indescribable something that Bradbury brings to everything he does. It was so perfect and wonderful. It was one of my favorite movies.

It wasn’t until many years later that I fell in love with Ray Bradbury after reading Something Wicked This Way Comes that I learned that one of my favorite movies was actually an adaptation of a book by one of my favorite authors. I read the book. It was just as good.

My favorite bit is the ending, when the children all decide to give up the last year of their lives to save their sick friend Pip. Something about that always got to me. Needless to say, this is a wonderful book, fitting with Bradbury’s usual style of poetic prose.

Other Movies Based On Bradbury's Books:
Fahrenheit 4511967
Something Wicked This Way Comes1983
The Illustrated Man1969
It Came From Outer Space 1953

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