Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

phantom_tollbooth_coverThe Phantom Tollbooth is a classic novel in which everything is taken seriously, and misinterpretations are common. There is an Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping) and a car that goes without saying.

There is a young boy named Milo. He is always bored and has extra time. Then, one day a package arrives in Milo’s room, addressed to “Milo, who has plenty of time.” Inside is a genuine turnpike tollbooth. Milo hops in his car and drives through the tollbooth, beginning his journey to the Lands Beyond.

On his travels, he meets the whether man (after all, it’s more important to know whether there will be weather than what kind of weather there will be), Tock, the watchdog (who goes tickticktick), the Humbug, and many, many more. He embarks on a great journey to The Castle in the Air to bring back the princesses Pure Reason and Sweet Rhyme. He faces many challenges, comes face-to-face with monsters like the demon of insincerity and the Terrible Trivium. His friends help him along the way and come forth to help him face the demons, even Canby (who went to show that he was as brave as can be but stayed back to show that he was as cowardly as can be). When Milo returns back home, he begins to enjoy his life, and realizes that there is always something to do right there.

The Phantom Tollbooth is a great book that has been enjoyed by readers of all ages for over 50 years. I recommend reading it, because you will never know what comes next.

-Linna C., 7th grade

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