The Phantom Tollbooth


Cover Art from:
Cover Art from:

Juster, N. (1961). The phantom tollbooth. New York, NY: Epstein & Carroll.

ISBN: 9780394820378

This is a classic book fro tweens. Barnes and Nobel lists the book as being for readers age 9-11 though I think this age range is pretty flexible due to the humor in the book. There are a lot of puns and other jokes so there may be some younger kids that get all the jokes and love the book and some readers who may not get them until they are a little older and will appreciate the book more then. Reviews on commonsensemedia were pretty mixed due to this humor with some readers loving the book and others finding it confusing and boring. One eight year old reader noted “I think this book is great for 8 year olds that like to read a bit of suspense and chasing around. I feel really fascinated to read on to what is next. Everything in the story is interesting and I am always eager to know everything that is going to happen” (Kid, 2012). Readers that enjoyed the book compared it favorably to Alice in Wonderland.

In the Phantom Tollbooth Milo finds an easy assemble tollbooth in his room one day that takes him to a magical land with two kingdoms, Digitopolis and Dictionopolis. One is all about numbers while the other revolves around letters. He also visits  He embarks on a quest to save the princesses Rhyme and Reason. To do so he has to defeat the demons on the Mountains of Ignorance and in doing so discovers the world is a much more interesting place than he ever realized. The book features a lot of crazy characters like the watchdog named Tock a large dog with a built in watch that is depicted on the cover of the book. This is a great fun fantasy read for tweens.

The Phantom Tollbooth

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