Review of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Reviewed by DJ, age 9

This is a book for kids at my age, it will mind-boggle you. It's about a boy, Milo, who doesn't do anything interesting in his life, and one day he finds a tollbooth in his room, which takes him on an adventure to "Expectations." So he goes on an adventure to rescue two princess, Rhyme and Reason, meeting a lot of interesting challenges along the way. R&R (for short) were sent away in a castle in the air because King Azaz and The Mathemagician got into a fight. Which is more important, words, or numbers?

And so these guys went to R&R to get their opinion about this. R&R said they are BOTH evenly important, which is why R&R were banished. There is a cast of interesting characters in the story: Tock the Watchdog, The Humbug, Demons of such terrible things as Time Wasting, Worthless Jobs, The Senses Taker, and they encounter and defeat these during their adventure. It's a very funny and interesting book, with very odd and interesting pencil illustrations liberally placed through the book - Jules Feiffer is the illustrator.

There is a lot of math in the chapters that the Mathemagician and the Dodecahedron appear in. If you have my book, page 188 has QUITE an interesting equation, I dare you to do it (no cheating by looking at page 189!)

I recommend this book for readaloud 6 and up, readalone 9 and up. I rate it an 8 out of 10. 9/12/05