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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Wonderland for boys as well as girls - pure genius
Firstly, please don't be put off by the hideous cover Collins has plonked on this wonderful book. Inside, you'll find the original drawings by Jules Feiffer, which as as elegant and intelligent as the contents.
No bright child of 7+ could fail to be captivated by this tale. Milo is a bored boy who finds an unexpected present waiting for him on his return from school...
Published on 10 Feb 2003 by A. Craig

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I tried...I really tried...
Milo is an irritating kind of child - finds school boring, can't quite see the point of learning maths, doesn't pay attention to the things around him and is eternally bored. Irritating but normal, I'd say. Then one day he discovers a mysterious package in his bedroom which turns out to be a magical tollbooth that transports him to another world. And soon he is on a quest...
Published 1 month ago by FictionFan


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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Wonderland for boys as well as girls - pure genius, 10 Feb 2003
By 
A. Craig "Amanda Craig" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Firstly, please don't be put off by the hideous cover Collins has plonked on this wonderful book. Inside, you'll find the original drawings by Jules Feiffer, which as as elegant and intelligent as the contents.
No bright child of 7+ could fail to be captivated by this tale. Milo is a bored boy who finds an unexpected present waiting for him on his return from school. It's a tollbooth (it doesn't matter if you don't know what this is). He assembles it, gets into his toy car and the moment he drives past the tollbooth finds himself in a magical land. Once ruled by two brothers, King Azaz the Unabridged (or words) and the Mathemagician, it is falling to rack and ruin because of the exile of the Princesses Rhyme and Reason. But danger lurks at every turn - not least that of Milo failing to notice what's going on. He immediately finds himself driving through the Doldrums, and only Tock the heroic Watchdog can rescue him by waking him up and forcing him to concentrate. His adventures include jumping to Conclusions (an island that looks lovely from afar but it a bleak overcrowded desert on arrival), orchestrating Chroma's colourful orchestra, breaking the Soundkeeper's fortress and learning about infinity - even before he ventures into the demon infested mountains to find the stair to the Castle in the Air.
Packed with splendid jokes, puns and brain-teasers, what is so special about the book is that it encourages children to think about a huge variety of subjects without ever hectoring them. Why is it important to notice details of daily life? Why does it matter that you choose good sounds rather than the ones adored by Dr. Kakphonous A. Dischord and his Dreadful Dynne? Why should you grow up rather than down? What do figures of speech mean, when taken literally? Why is it important to go on learning all through your life?
I read this to my 7 year old, and he loved it so much that it's become the gateway to loving reading. He tries to walk around reading it, and takes it with him wherever he goes. I had exactly the same reaction at the same age - as did my daughter. Just don't judge it by its ghastly cover.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom Tollbooth, 15 Sep 2005
By 
B.Taylor (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
I first read this book when I was around 11yrs old and I still read it periodically at 34yrs of age! This is a wonderful book with a magical story written with warmth and humour. Suitable for reading ages 8+ this book is full of little moral messages that are very well woven into the tale. Excellent.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for the turnpike, 19 Dec 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Norton Juster's book is ostensibly a children's book. However, like much of children's literature, it contains hidden (and not so hidden) aspects that are of delight to adults as well. This, when you think of it, makes sense--the point of children's literature is to educate as well as entertain (one hopes!), therefore, it makes sense that some of the lessons will be more 'adult' than the actual storyline would seem to indicate.
Milo and his various friends and enemies encountered along the way serve to illustrate many of the foibles and quirks of adult life. The Phantom Tollbooth serves as a gateway to a place that embodies the physical manifestations of metaphors.
For instance, in Dictionopolis (a city of words) Milo is invited to a banquet at which one must eat one's words. Just as in our world, sometimes those words can be sour and very hard to swallow.
Also, while you can jump to the Isle of Conclusions, you must reach the mainland again only by swimming through the sea of knowledge. And the water is cold. It is not easy to recover from having jumped to conclusions.
The interplay between concepts, the tension between words and numbers, the divisions and alliances that are made, the enemies who seem to be friends, all of these serve to make a delightful play which will interest children and adults.
Milo, of course, makes it home safely after a fascinating journey, and while he would like to take another trip, the phantom tollbooth is needed elsewhere for other children, too. However, Milo realises that he has his own tollbooth in his imagination, and thus the adventure need never end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If not perfectly satisfied, your wasted time, WILL be refunded!, 2 Oct 2013
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One genuine turnpike tollbooth delivered to your doorway! This book will boost any child's confidence in reading. I am a 10 year old child and enjoyed this book. I read it cover to cover in rain or shine.

I reckon that any child from the age 5+ can enjoy this book ether spelled by the 'Spelling Bee' or feared by 'The Humbug' it can all be taken in. whether you are stuck in 'The Doldrums or as chatty as 'The Weather Man' you can't stop reading it! It is a good book written for children, but can be enjoyed by adults as well. so, are you going to 'Jump to Conclusions, or read this amazing book by Norton Juster?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old favorite, just as good today!, 5 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This was a book I read over and over again as a child. I bought a copy for my eight year old, and he loves it just as much! We have both found the plot unique and enthraling, and it has obviously become recognised as a classic text since I read it originally twenty something years ago, as there is now a teachers guide and it is recommended reading for the National Curriculum. How on earth did the author come up with those characters? I now get the in jokes that I missed back then!
Every child should read this, it's just as captivating as any Harry Potter novel!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book for all ages, 30 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Phantom Tollbooth (Paperback)
So successful, so subtle. Good humour and intelligent writing make this not only a fun way to learn for children, but it also gives the importance of learning across without being too overbearing. It creates such a magical world, which in some ways, is more real and logical than our own. However, it manages to feel so mystical and intriguing that it pulls you in. A light, fun read for adults and children of all ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book for children of all ages., 7 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Written with tongue firmly in cheek, this is as much a book to be read aloud, as it is to be read. Juster doesn't just use the English language, but he plays and dances with it, turning common phrases inside-out, and around, but never in a meaningless way.
The story is about Milo, who doesn't know what to do, and his journeys through the Land of Wisdom. To go into detail about the story, is to ruin much of the surprise, but suffice to say, he has grand adventures, defeats dangerous enemies, and generally does everything you come to expect in an adventure meant for children.
If you enjoy reading, you will enjoy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Year 5 Phantom Tollbooth Review, 5 Mar 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Phantom Tollbooth (Essential Modern Classics) (Paperback)
The Phantom Tollbooth was written by Norton Juster in 1961. He worked for several years as an architect in Brooklyn, New York, before becoming an author. He also wrote other books such as `The Dot and the Line' and `Alberic the Wise and Other Jouneys.'
In 1971 Norton Juster was the recipient of the George G. Stone Centre for Children's Books Seventh Recognition of Merit.

Milo, the main character, is a bored little boy who one day, when returning home from a dull day of school, finds in his room a tollbooth. When he went through the tollbooth he appeared in The Lands of Beyond. He travels through many areas of the land, meeting many unusual characters, including a watchdog called Tock, who has a clock in his body.

We think that the book is brilliant because the lands that Milo travels to are interesting and full of unusual, imaginative characters. The book also has many different powerful words and many different educational messages. All of the characters are interesting and have unique qualities which fit their personalities.

We would recommend this book to children aged eight and above. If you are bored we recommend you read this book because it feels like you are actually in the land. This book is also educational as it will help you with your literacy work and help you to learn why knowledge is important.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and re-read by reluctant 9 year old reader, 12 Oct 2004
By A Customer
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This wonderfully imaginative and funny book is my son's favourite book. As a reluctant mildly dyslexic reader he loses interest in a book very quickly. Not so with this one. He loved all the word play and felt extremely chuffed as he worked out all the puns. A huge success. The humour moves quickly though and I know children who are not so quick on the verbal uptake who have found it dull. Be careful you don't give it to them too young. 8 years for the very bright, otherwise 9+.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest books from my childhood., 12 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Brilliantly inventive, full of wonderful characters. A story that delights me as much today as it did 15 years ago. Some of the jokes you only 'get' as an adult, having swum a bit longer in the sea of knowledge.
It should almost be compulsory reading for everyone.
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The Phantom Tollbooth (Essential Modern Classics)
The Phantom Tollbooth (Essential Modern Classics) by Norton Juster (Paperback - 3 Mar 2008)
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