12:40 and still going strong. I just finished my lunch and my second book, “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. I’m posting reviews because I’m using them as breaks from my reading and technically my writing involves words and reading, right?!
I read this “The Phantom Tollbooth” as a child, possibly in grade 4. I remember bits and parts of it, but I’ve always wanted to read it again as an adult. Obviously I’m a huge lover of words and this made me love this book even more, because Norton Juster takes the reader and Milo on a magical journey on the ‘Island of Confusion’.
Milo is a young little boy who sees the world as a boring place, where nothing exciting happens and he doesn’t see the point in trying anything new, because who would care. However, he’s curious when he arrives home from school one day and sees a package that instructs him to build the contents inside. He quickly does and realizes that’s he has built a tollbooth. Curiosity overcomes Milo and he drives his little car up to the tollbooth and drops in his token. All of sudden, Milo is travelling in a land far away from his boring bedroom.
He stumbles upon a watchdog, who of course has a watch built into his body. The two form a bond and decide to travel to the land of Dictionopolis together. When they arrive to Dictionopolis, Milo realizes that it’s a land of words. Many people in this land don’t understand why you would only choose one word to express your feelings, when you can choose many different words, such as, happy, joyful, thrilled, etc…
The island of confusion is explained to Milo by the Which (not the Witch), she explains that the island is separated into two worlds, Dictionopolos (operates by words) and Digitopolis (operates by numbers). Each town is ruled by the sons of the King. The sons couldn’t come to agreement about which is more important, words or numbers. So they consult their adopted sisters, Rhyme and Reason and when the two beautiful girls suggest that they are both equally important, the sons agree for once to send them to the ‘Castle in the Air’ because they are so disappointed in their answer.
Milo quickly realizes that the island will function better if he rescues Rhyme and Reason. His journey involves bravery, courage and gumption. Things he didn’t have in the beginning of the book. It’s a sweet story of believing in yourself and not always following the boring path they lays ahead. I think that Norton Juster did a fabulous job taking common words we use everyday and spinning them into different meaning. I’m so glad I read it again!!!
Happy Reading. I’m off to start another book 🙂