The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Book - 1988
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Random House, Inc.
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

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

& Taylor

Milo travels to The Lands Beyond when he drives his small electric car through a mysterious, miniature tollbooth gate. Reprint.
Milo travels into The Lands Beyond when he drives his small electric car through a miniature tollbooth gate

Publisher: New York : Bullseye Books, 1988
Edition: 1st Bullseye Books ed
ISBN: 9780394820378
Characteristics: 256 p. : ill. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Feiffer, Jules


From the critics

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that_username Mar 14, 2019

Norton Juster's whimsical and clever writing style will be sure to entertain readers of all ages. A classic!

Feb 08, 2019

This book is full of really fun and satisfying wordplay!

OPL_KrisC Feb 06, 2019

A fun fantasy classic sure to delight readers of all ages.

Dec 22, 2018

I loved this book so much it is inventive and a fun read and the playful language is also fun.

Dec 18, 2018

I no longer remember who said it - but there was a quote floating around once that stated something along the lines of 'If you truly want someone to learn the value of something - you need to be able to explain it in terms that are understandable to everyone'. This book does that for "Knowledge - Rhyme and Reason". In reading it, even the most reluctant learner, will be able to see the value in learning - learning Math, English, Science - learning to look around an appreciate what is around you. Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer create a world that's easy to understand, but that's dripping with symbolism. Appropriate for any age - this book is an enjoyable ride.

Also P.S - don't expect to the movie to be anything like this. If you're a teacher thinking "Oh, there's a movie version too - perfect!" Stop. Not alike at all.

Aug 23, 2018

Along with The Thirteen Clocks, this book is one of my family's favourites, and it's as profound as it is delightfully peculiar. This is a great book to read aloud with kids, revealing spectacular wordplay and a whimsical world.

May 11, 2018

One of the best children's book, though some say it is not a children's books, I have ever read. The wordplay make you think. If you check out a 50th anniversary edition, read the commendation by a 5th grade teacher which to me explains why this book is so amazing!

May 01, 2018

Just because something is unrealistic doesn't mean it isn't good. I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book, it has a kind of Dr. Seuss feel to it.

Feb 23, 2018

Meh. Not for me.

I don't understand why everyone likes this book so much. Utterly the most boring, confusing, and unrealistic read I have added to my Completed Shelf.

Oct 27, 2017


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Add Age Suitability
OPL_KrisC Feb 06, 2019

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jan 14, 2019

BiblioBrietta thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

Jan 08, 2019

blue_dog_8171 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 13

May 30, 2018

Vasanthi_0 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Oct 27, 2017

StormStrike12 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jun 01, 2017

orange_dog_3105 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 23, 2017

Dragonrat703 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

violet_butterfly_6383 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 23, 2015

red_cobra_341 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 21, 2015

maryamsami thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Add a Quote
Jan 14, 2019

But it's not just learning that's important. It's learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn at all that maters.

Aug 23, 2018

If you want sense, you'll have to make it yourself

Jul 25, 2018

subtraction soup

Jun 02, 2017

“Besides," explained the second, “one word is as good as another— so why not use them all?”
“Then you don't have to chose which one is right.” advised the third.

Dec 12, 2016

“Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens.”

Oct 30, 2016

"Step right up, step right up - fancy , best-quality words right here '', announced one man in a booming voice. "Step right up - ah, what can I do for you, little boy? How about a nice bagful of pronouns - or maybe you'd like our special assortment of names?"

Oct 30, 2016

"I AM KAKOFONOUS A. DISCHORD, DOCTOR OF DISSONANCE", roared the man, and, as he spoke, several small explosions and a grinding crash were heard.

PollyFossey Oct 21, 2014

"...many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond reach. But someday you'll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."

PollyFossey Oct 21, 2014

"But there is so much to learn," he said, with a thoughtful frown.

"Yes, that's true," admitted Rhyme; "but it's not just learning things that's important, It's learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters."

Natasha_Reanne Mar 09, 2012

"Now you know what you must do"
"I'm afraid I don't" admitted Milo feeling quite stupid.
"Well," continued the watchdog impatiently,"since you got here by not thinking, in order to get out, you must start thinking." And with that he hopped into the car.


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