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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
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The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)

by Norton Juster (Author), Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
Rating: 5/5

This book is one of my favorites of all-time! Even now, as an adult, I love to reread it. It's just a really clever book. It takes the idea that you should never be bored because there's always something to do and expands it into a beautiful world. It is a mesmerizing tale that is never boring. I remember reading it the first time as a young child with my family. It made me realize that saying "I'm bored" is really just an excuse to not being imaginative. After reading it again as an adult, it serves as a reminder that the world is full of endless possibilities if we're willing to open our minds. This book is just a beautiful piece of literature that deserves more recognition that it receives.
  babblingbookie17 | Mar 27, 2016 |
I remember loving this book when I was in third grade, and my kids enjoyed it quite a bit. My 6.5yo especially loves the Doldrums. Some of it was delightful, and I especially appreciate the message to not be afraid of failing (I'm constantly trying to get my perfectionist kids to internalize this lesson, and I can use all the help I can get), but I'm not sure I'd have felt a big pull to finish the book if we hadn't had the audiobook as backup.
  ImperfectCJ | Mar 24, 2016 |
Milo is a bored young boy who has no desire to do anything at all. One day, he comes home and there is a giant box in his room with a tollbooth inside. He sets it up and drives through, leading him to a mysterious land. He meets a clock-dog hybrid named Tock, gets stuck in the Doldrums, jumps to the island of Conclusions and even saves Rhyme and Reason. I would suggest this for 5th grade and up. It would serve as an excellent piece to discuss as a class, to learn about literary elements as well as civil rights and education. ( )
  murandapatanda | Mar 13, 2016 |
Still as great as I remembered. Excellent choice for my hundredth book of the year!

***

I read this like a million years ago and asked my mum if she could get it for me for my very own - and it was out of print.

Years later, it occurred to me to check up on it - and now I have it :D will reread it at very soon.
  thebookmagpie | Mar 13, 2016 |
Milo mopes in black ink sketches, until he assembles a tollbooth and drives through. He jumps to the island of Conclusions. But brothers King Azaz of Dictionopolis and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis war over words and numbers. Joined by ticking watchdog Tock and adult-size Humbug, Milo rescues the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason, and learns to enjoy life. (review from Goodreads).
  Scopuslrc | Mar 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juster, NortonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Feiffer, JulesIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dietz, NormanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sendak, MauriceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Andy and Kenny,
who waited so patiently
First words
There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.
Quotations
"You must never feel badly about making mistakes," explained Reason quietly," as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons."
Well, since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this LT Work, Norton Juster's original The Phantom Tollbooth (1961), and the edition annotated by Leonard Marcus (2011). Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
The Phantom Tollbooth tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, decides to drive through it in his toy car. The tollbooth transports him to a land called the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he acquires two faithful companions, has many adventures, and goes on a quest to rescue the princesses of the kingdom from the castle of air, Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason. The text is full of puns, and many events, such as Milo's jump to the Island of Conclusions, exemplify literal meanings of English language idioms.
Haiku summary
A quite boring boy,
goes on a great adventure,
and he is changed a lot.
(Firefox-Flame_dancer)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394820371, Paperback)

"It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time," Milo laments. "[T]here's nothing for me to do, nowhere I'd care to go, and hardly anything worth seeing." This bored, bored young protagonist who can't see the point to anything is knocked out of his glum humdrum by the sudden and curious appearance of a tollbooth in his bedroom. Since Milo has absolutely nothing better to do, he dusts off his toy car, pays the toll, and drives through. What ensues is a journey of mythic proportions, during which Milo encounters countless odd characters who are anything but dull.

Norton Juster received (and continues to receive) enormous praise for this original, witty, and oftentimes hilarious novel, first published in 1961. In an introductory "Appreciation" written by Maurice Sendak for the 35th anniversary edition, he states, "The Phantom Tollbooth leaps, soars, and abounds in right notes all over the place, as any proper masterpiece must." Indeed.

As Milo heads toward Dictionopolis he meets with the Whether Man ("for after all it's more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be"), passes through The Doldrums (populated by Lethargarians), and picks up a watchdog named Tock (who has a giant alarm clock for a body). The brilliant satire and double entendre intensifies in the Word Market, where after a brief scuffle with Officer Short Shrift, Milo and Tock set off toward the Mountains of Ignorance to rescue the twin Princesses, Rhyme and Reason. Anyone with an appreciation for language, irony, or Alice in Wonderland-style adventure will adore this book for years on end. (Ages 8 and up)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:43 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.

» see all 9 descriptions

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