Thursday, December 8, 2011




Summary: Milo is a very bored little boy. Nothing seems to be interesting despite his numerous toys. When a tollbooth magically appears in his bedroom Milo shrugs and gets in his toy car and goes through, simply because he has nothing better to do.  What follows an amazing journey of self-discovery as Milo meets new people, creatures and lands. He is accompanied by Tock, a dog with a clock for a body, and travels to such faraway places as Dictionopolis and the Mountains of Ignorance.  This satirical book is both hilarious and thought provoking leaving the reader wanting more.


Juster, N. (1961). The phantom tollbooth. New York, NY: Random House.

Impression: I loved this book and the journey Milo takes. I think kids enjoy the funny, quirky aspect of the story; but to really get the full meaning the book must be read again as an adult. It really makes the reader think about random things, such as jumping to conclusions. This is a very versatile book and can be read various ways buy different groups of readers.


Miriam, M. s. (n.d). [Book review of the Phantom tollbooth, by N. Juster].  Library Journal, 112,84.  

           Available  from Library Journal website:

To a bored little boy [in The Phantom Tollbooth,] the gift of a phantom tollbooth opens up a new, imaginative world after he deposits a coin and drives through the gate--from Dictionopolis where words are sold on the marketplace and a Spelling Bee buzzes around to the Castle in the Air where the Princess of Pure Reason and the Princess of Sweet Rhyme wait to be rescued. The ironies, the subtle play on words will be completely lost on all but the most precocious children. Definitely for the sophisticated, special reader. Only the large libraries can afford to experiment with it.

Uses: This book could be read for many age groups, but I think that older teens doing a program on satire would really enjoy reading the book. Pairing this book with Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels would be a great project. Teens could then look to today’s media for satire, like The Daily Show with John Stewart.

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