If you’re not part of the frenzy of trick or treating tonight and you need a book to curl up with against the cold, this is the one. If you got a hold of it on audio when Audible had it on special, even better!
This book is middle grade in that it features a tight band of ten year old boys who are looking to up the ante on their usual Halloween night. This year turns out to be different for them: their ringleader, who Bradbury writes in one of the best descriptions I have ever read of a young boy, is home sick.
They meet up with a mysterious figure who takes them on a dark tour of Halloweens through place and time. Each child is dressed as a Halloween figure whose place and time is visited over the course of the story.
Although this is middle grade, the tour through history done in the mysterious and dark way it is done appeals to all ages older. It was fascinating. Through every iteration of Halloween they also have to save their ringleader friend who is home sick. Not only do they have to save him, it is through giving pieces of themselves. It’s not a chipper and cartoony history of Halloween, it is the true nature of the holiday and all the scary things that it comes from.
It took me a bit into the story to understand what they were doing, but I loved it and I can’t wait to share it with my son. He wouldn’t have the context for it yet. We have been reading Pete the Cat Halloween books, the one about the woman who swallowed the bat, etc. He’s reading them to me. We wil get to the scary things together in due time and as much as I love scary and I think he will too, I am happy to hang onto his innocent a little longer.
He’s going around tonight dressed as Jack Skellington. I couldn’t be more in love.