The Phantom Tollbooth
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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
the Princess of Sweet Rhyme and the Princess of Pure Reason and were brought up in the palace. “When the old king finally died, the kingdom was divided between his two sons, with the provision that they would be equally responsible for the welfare of the young princesses. One son went south and became Azaz the Unabridged, king of Dictionopolis, and the other went north and became the Mathemagician, ruler of Digitopolis; and, true to their words, they both provided well for the little girls, who
good-by and left the valley behind them. The shore line was peaceful and flat, and the calm sea bumped it playfully along the sandy beach. In the distance a beautiful island covered with palm trees and flowers beckoned invitingly from the sparkling water. “Nothing can possibly go wrong now,” cried the Humbug happily and as soon as he’d said it he leaped from the car, as if stuck by a pin, and sailed all the way to the little island. “And we’ll have plenty of time,” answered Tock, who hadn’t
repeated. “And if you can prove otherwise, you have my permission to go.” “Well,” said Milo, who had thought about this problem very carefully ever since leaving Dictionopolis. “Then with whatever Azaz agrees, you disagree.” “Correct,” said the Mathemagician with a tolerant smile. “And with whatever Azaz disagrees, you agree.” “Also correct,” yawned the Mathemagician, nonchalantly cleaning his fingernails with the point of his staff. “Then each of you agrees that he will disagree with
things that’s important. It’s learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters.” “That’s just what I mean,” explained Milo as Tock and the exhausted bug drifted quietly off to sleep. “Many of the things I’m supposed to know seem so useless that I can’t see the purpose in learning them at all.” “You may not see it now,” said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo’s puzzled face, “but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do
Closer and closer the demons loomed as the desperate chase neared its end. Then, gathering themselves for one final leap, they prepared to engulf first the bug, then the boy, and lastly the dog and his two passengers. They rose as one and—— And suddenly stopped, as if frozen in mid-air, unable to move, staring ahead in terror. Milo slowly raised his weary head, and there in the horizon, for as far as the eye could see, stood the massed armies of Wisdom, the sun glistening from their swords