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The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)

by Norton Juster

Other authors: Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,969386300 (4.31)2 / 409
A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.
  1. 91
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Death_By_Papercut)
    Death_By_Papercut: A child enters a strange new world.
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    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (aarti, calmclam)
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    Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (Phantasma, elbakerone, heidialice)
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    Momo by Michael Ende (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both are wonderful old-fashioned children's stories with a deeper message - as a result they both reward reading by adults too.
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    Abarat by Clive Barker (Death_By_Papercut)
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    A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears by Jules Feiffer (suzanney)
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    The Lost Track of Time by Paige Britt (JanesList)
    JanesList: If you liked the Phantom Tollbooth (which admittedly, I didn't like as much) you will probably also like this book. It has some of the same feel because it is also a journey to another (kindof random but with its own logic) world to learn things about yourself and your own world.… (more)
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    bmlg: a quest with clever wordplay and whimsical personified ideas
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    The Pirates' Mixed-up Voyage by Margaret Mahy (FFortuna)
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    No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko (kaledrina)
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Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)
My favorite childhood book. I still have it, all these years later. ( )
  A2Seamster | Jan 13, 2021 |
Interesting book. I read this with my 9 year old. He enjoyed it, but I don't think he quite got everything. As an adult, this is even more fun.
Play on words and more overt critique of several common concepts in society such as not truly being in the moment (not seeing, not listening, not meaning what you say) ( )
  kparr | Dec 24, 2020 |
I loved this book as a kid and still love it as an adult. It's fantasy but mostly about language and the fun that the author has with words, numbers, concepts and ideas. Just a blast to read.

Course evaluation:

Personal Response: I loved this book and the sheer fun Juster has with language. The puns, word and number games, and spin on ideas are educational as well as amusing. I can’t imagine any child not enjoying this book, even as it makes he or she think in new ways.

Evaluation: The strength of this story is in the language and the way Juster plays with words to make the reader (and main character) see common ideas in new ways. Children will enjoy the absurdity of the book while still learning new concepts or looking at familiar ones in new ways. This will then appeal to older children as they explore different ways of learning and looking at the world. The characterization is solid and the main character matures quite a bit throughout the story; readers will identify with his confusion throughout the book and with his excitement in the end. Feiffer’s drawings are excellent reflections of the strange characters Milo meets during his journey; the illustrations allow to reader to visualize some of the more difficult concepts with ease, such as a dodecahedron. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
A re-read of one of my favorite books from when I was little. This is such a special book and I think everyone needs to read it. It’s such a treasure. ( )
  coffeefairy | Nov 21, 2020 |
I also read this book as a kid but couldn’t quite remember what it was about . Turns out it is about a kid that is very smart but very bored with everything. So he gets an adventure that leads him to learn that he doesn’t quite know everything that he thinks. He learns a lot and is taught along the way that he doesn’t have to be bored he can make things up! I wouldn’t use this in middle
School because it’s more for high schoolers ( )
  Cwagner93 | Nov 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juster, Nortonprimary 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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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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People/Characters
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Important events
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Awards and honors
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
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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

No library descriptions found.

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)

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