Author: Norton JusterAge Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Lexile Measure: 1000L
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Bullseye Books; Reprint edition (October 12, 1988)
Details: Hailed as “a classic. . . . humorous, full of warmth and real invention” (The New Yorker), this beloved story--first published more than fifty 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. . . .
Features an appreciation by Maurice Sendak, award-winning author of Where the Wild Things Are!
“I read [The Phantom Tollbooth] first when I was ten. I still have the book report I wrote, which began ‘This is the best book ever.’”—The New York Times
“The Phantom Tollbooth is the closest thing we have to a modern Alice in Wonderland.”—The Guardian
“The book lingers long after turning the final page. . . . A classic indeed.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“You loved the humor and adventure . . . and [now] you’ll marvel at [the book's] wit, complexity, and its understanding of how children perceive the passage of time.” —Entertainment Weekly"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)
Package Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches