Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review of 'The Phantom Tollbooth' By Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth
This was an exceedingly clever book.
Milo is a boy who finds joy in nothing, who is bored with everything, and who can't understand the purpose of learning. Then one day, there is a large package in his room. He opens it and assembles a tollbooth. Because he had nothing better to do, he drives his little car into it, and the adventure begins. This is an adventure through the kingdom called Wisdom. In this kingdom are many places. His quest begins in Dictionopolis, the city of words. It is ruled by king Azaz. All things here have to do with words, such as people selling words, or eating words, or saying words for their dinner. For example, if you said pork, honey, and ice cream, that would be your dinner, but if you said therefore, because, and why?, that would be your dinner. Hopefully your word choices would taste good! My favorite characters resided in the kingdom. They were Azaz's five cabinet members. They all had a way of saying things, if you said hello, they might reply:
Good day!
And so on and so forth. in this kingdom Milo learns that to restore the kingdom he must rescue the beautiful princesses - Rhyme and Reason. And so he starts his perilous journey. It was very interesting, something different happening on every turn. And so clever. The Mathematician (Azaz's brother who rules Digitopolis, the kingdom of words.)has a staff (which is a pencil) that he can use to multiply things (Like himself) or subtract things (Like a pot of soup from a table). There is the island of conclusions that you get to by making assumptions and jumping (Jumping to conclusions! See what I mean about wordplay?)
Milo learned one of the most valuable lessons a person can learn. He learned the value of knowledge and understanding, thanks to his experiences in Wisdom, both good and bad. Though Milo, in the beginning, isn't the happiest character, you still are interested in his story and you root for him, he is a likable character.

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