Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
$6.99 at Amazon.com
ISBN: 0394820371
Consistently popular for almost thirty years, The Phantom Tollbooth is a children's book enjoyable for adults to read. If you've finished the latest Harry Potter and are ready for something new, give this outstanding fantasy adventure a try.
Milo is a boy who feels down in the dumps all the time. School is a drag and he can't wait to get out, but when it's over he's bored and wishes he were back. Although he's only a kid, he's decided that life is pointless and hardly worth the effort until one day, he finds a mysterious package in his room.
A tollbooth.
Some assembly required, including change to pay the toll, a booklet of regulations, and a map of the mysterious kingdom beyond it. Milo owns a toy electric car, so he assembles the booth and drives on through. Much to his suprise, he winds up not in his playroom at all, but in the Land of Wisdom.
The Land is in a state of war between two brothers. One, King Azaz, thinks letters and words are most important, and rules a literary fiefdom named Dictiopolis. His brother, the Mathemagician, thinks numbers and math should rule and has his capital at Digitopolis.
Only the return of Rhyme and Reason, the nation's two beautiful princesses, will restore order and harmony between the numbers and letters.
It falls to Milo, our reluctant young hero, his faithful dog Tock, and a tag along sourpuss named Humbug to rescue the princesses and bring tranquility back to the divided kingdom.
Exciting and graceful, Tollbooth is full of delicious puns kids surely miss. It's similar to Alice In Wonderland but more palatable to boys since the hero is male and drives a car, or Lord of the Rings but less tedious.While on campaign, Milo experiences the lands of Sound, Color, and a thousand other fantastic realms.
The characters are fascinating, and the plot deeply rewarding. If you're not familiar with this gem, please check it out and share it with the pre-teen in your life.

1 comment:

about a boy said...

i used to love this book.