Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rereading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself- not just sometimes, but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in. On the way he thought about coming home, and coming home he thought about going. Wherever he was he wished he were somewhere else, and when he got there he wondered why he'd bothered. Nothing really interested him-least of all the things that should have.

Chances are you've heard of The Phantom Tollbooth. I first read it a few years ago, and it's a really great children's book, full of clever wordplay and humor. Milo, the main character of the story is a boy who doesn't know what to do with himself. When he receives a mysterious tollbooth as a gift, he goes through it and emerges into another land. And what a strange one it is, too. Milo meets some odd characters like King Azaz the Unabridged (the king of Dictionopolis), the Mathemagician, Faintly Macabre (the not-so-wicked Which), and the ticking watchdog Tock. He goes on a quest to find the two princesses, Rhyme and Reason, who will restore peace to the land, settling the war between words and numbers. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you reach it by jumping), goes to the Mountains of Ignorance, and many other fantastic places. The Phantom Tollbooth is a really ridiculous book, but that's why it's so great. It's hard to describe; a light fantasy with puns galore. It really makes fun of the English language too, and all the ridiculous expressions that we use. An easy book, but very enjoyable.

Read The Phantom Tollbooth:
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like clever wordplay and puns
  • if you haven't read it already, it's a must read
256 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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