Recent Reads-The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

My rating ✰3✰

Picture and quote from Goodreads

Hailed as “a classic. . . . humorous, full of warmth and real invention” (The New Yorker), this beloved story -first published more than fifty years ago- introduces readers to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond.

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams. . . .

I read this book in January. This was part of a color coded TBR project I was working on, but have since given up on. I still plan to read all of the books though.

I had read this book once before. My husband loved this book as a child and it was a book he chose for me to read when we tried to choose books for each other. I’m excited to read it again several years later as a parent. I’ll be reading it to see when we might add it to a read aloud list for our daughter.

Milo is a bored boy that comes home to find a mysterious box in his room. He follows the instructions to build a tollbooth and rides a toy motor car through the tollbooth and in to a strange world where he ends up tasked with finding the Princesses Rhyme and Reason.

This book is filled with ridiculous puns and explanations of language that made me chuckle. It also has stories about how sounds are created and numbers are mined. I think my daughter will enjoy it in another four or five years. It feels confusing and meandering and the climax where our heroes are being chased by demons is a bit too frightening for her right now. We go from one strange place to another and they hardly seem linked except by the road Milo is traveling on. Even so it was silly and enjoyable. And I’m glad to have it as a memento of my husband’s life.

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