The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Book - 1964
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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
Publisher: New York : Random House, 1964.
ISBN: 9780394820378
Branch Call Number: JUS
Characteristics: 255 p. : ill.
Additional Contributors: Feiffer, Jules - Illustrator


From the critics

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May 11, 2018

One of the best children's book, though some say it is not a children's book, 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


coffeebookie Sep 29, 2017

The Phantom Tollbooth is a wonderful adventure into the Kingdom of Wisdom by a young boy named Milo. Milo is a bored, unfulfilled young boy who is whisked away through a magic tollbooth into a curious land that challenges his dull notions about learning. An incredibly entertaining read, filled with loads of wordplay and rhetorical meanings. If you like Alice in Wonderland, try The Phantom Tollbooth!

Jun 26, 2017

Whimsical story that's easily understandable for young readers but contains a wealth of word play and puns that make it that much richer. Not your average fantasy tale.

Jun 01, 2017

I like words. I like books. Words and books can speak to you as Jessica (from the book Because of Mr. Terupt) says. This book gives you something to think about. What IS more important- words or numbers? For each person it is different- but before you pick up this amazing book up put on your thinking cap- you're going to need it.

May 23, 2017

Amazing story. Although it seems to be meant for younger readers, this book speaks about problems in the world today. Adults can easily enjoy this world as well. I found this book to be extremely enlightening about a variety of topics.

ArapahoeKelsey Mar 10, 2017

Every once in awhile, you just need a fun, quirky story with completely original characters and creatures, and The Phantom Tollbooth is just that book. It reminds me a little bit of Alice in Wonderland in the fact that a young person is transported to a magical world, meets unusual friends, and has to save the land! This book was light and fun, and well-deserving of its "classic" status!

Jan 17, 2017

Negative soup?
Author just as clever as Piers Anthony.
Book doesn't insult the audience.
Film adaption just as good.

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Age Suitability

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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

Dec 20, 2014

lilybluesea thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Aug 26, 2014

Dorca thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Aug 09, 2014

isaacp thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Add a Quote

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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