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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth (original 1961; edition 2008)

by Norton Juster

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10,713328261 (4.31)2 / 360
Title:The Phantom Tollbooth
Authors:Norton Juster
Info:Harper Collins Children's Books (2008), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, English

Work details

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

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This book is about a young boy named Milo, who becomes bored with the life he is living, and decides to go on an adventure in a magical land, which he enters through the phantom tollbooth. In this magical land, Milo encounters a number of unique characters, like sisters Rhyme and Reason, and travels through cities like Wisdom and Dictionopolis. After helping these characters and doing some soul searching himself, Milo returns back to his own land, where he has a new appreciation for the world he lives in.

I love this book because it is witty and unique, and does a great job of tying in education elements and personifying many pieces of learning and making them interesting characters. The book is fun to read and brings in a number of elements of knowledge, giving the reader an appreciation for education.

This book can be brought into the classroom to help students see the fun and creativity in learning. There are many discussions that can be had around this book, including conversations about the importance of words versus numbers, and rhyme versus reason. ( )
  ErinLeary | Dec 5, 2016 |
awesome. This was one of the books that got me into reading. Fascinating yet creepy, at least to a young kid. ( )
  Gordon.Edgar | Nov 29, 2016 |
Milo is bored. He doesn't like school and there's never anything to do. That is until one day when a pretend tollbooth mysteriously appears in his bedroom. Once he drives his electric toy car through it, he enters the Land Beyond, where the Princesses Rhyme and Reason have been banished by their brothers, King Azaz of Dictionopolis and the Mathemagitian of Digitolopolis. With the help of his new friends, Tock the Watchdog and the Humbug, Milo must save the princesses and restore common sense to the land of Wisdom.
  Katface09 | Nov 28, 2016 |
This book was (and is) one of my son's favorites. I'd never read it. He'd heard it read aloud, in his 3rd grade classroom when he was in school. He loved it then and still remembers most of the details in it. We've had a few copies kicking around the house so I finally read this. What a clever book indeed. I can understand why this is a children's classic, though I must admit it was hard to imagine being able to appreciate this book as a read aloud. Not being an auditory type of person, I feel as though a lot would be missed by just hearing it. The puns, the witticisms, the literal take on expressions of speech are just a lot to understand from just hearing, I think, especially when you're in 3rd grade. The illustrations are enough to want to- no, to need to - read this book yourself. Jules Feiffer, a well renowned cartoonist who published several of his own books, illustrated this wonderful story.

Imagine a cross between Bunyan's A Pilgrims Progress and Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland . That is what the story is like: a young boy named Milo discovers a strange tollbooth in his room and drives through it in his toy car. He arrives in another land, where he meets strange beings named Spelling Bee, a bee who is an expert speller, and Dodecahedron, a 12 faced being, along with many other interesting, wacky characters. Milo finds himself on a quest and meets with many dangers along the way. Whimsical, clever and brilliant. Loved this book.
( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
Fantasy novel postcard
  savannahgatesstacy | Nov 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juster, NortonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Feiffer, JulesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dietz, NormanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Diana WynneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pierce, David HydeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sendak, MauriceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
"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
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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