The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree

Downloadable Audiobook - 2010
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The mysterious Mr. Moonshroud leads eight young boys on a journey back through the time to discover the true meaning of Halloween. Extraordinarily well acted, this story will send shivers of delight (and spine-chilling terror) through listeners young and old. You will want to take this trip with the Colonial Radio Theatre players many times over, long after the last candle has died in your jack-o'-lantern.
Publisher: [United States] : Blackstone Audio, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2010
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781433232190
1433232197
Branch Call Number: Streaming Hoopla Audiobook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (2hr., 01 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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lexlothor
Oct 07, 2016

"The Halloween Tree" is a novelette that is aimed at young readers. The protagonists are eight boys from rural Illinois. Despite its fantasy concept it is semi-autobiographical on the part of Ray Bradbury. If taken at the level of a juvenile reader, the book and this full cast radio play adaptation work well. From an adult point of view this story is a bit shallow and condescending.

This story has all of the classic Bradbury elements: mystery, nostalgia, mood and poetry. To quote Boris Pasternak it is also petty bourgeois and self-indulgent.

I really question whether this audio version has any appeal to the intended audience. Kids today have the attention spans of fruit flies. I fear that they might easily become bored with it. There was an animated film based on this story made in the 1990's. With a few slight abridgements it picks up the action and flows more cleanly. Certain odd facts are addressed in that version. In the book one of the all-boy gang dresses as a witch for Halloween. In the animated film this character is a girl. I think that this change alone may be why my daughter loved the animated version as a child.

This audio production may however be used as excellent instructive material for 4th-8th grade classrooms.

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