The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is a whimsical tale full of imagination and adventure. It all starts when Milo, a curious and bored-with-life 11-year-old, discovers a mysterious tollbooth in his bedroom. With nothing better to do, Milo hops in his toy car and drives through the tollbooth.
Milo winds up in an odd land called “Wisdom” where he is introduced to many strange creatures and places. In Wisdom, Milo meets different people and things such as "Tock", the watchdog whose body is a clock, and "The Humbug," a well-dressed, oversized beetle who always has something to say.
At a Wisdom feast, Milo meets the King of Dictionopolis, Azaz, who loves words. Azaz sends Milo on a quest to find the imprisoned princesses Rhyme and Reason, the right-doers of the Kingdom.
Milo sets off on this quest to find Rhyme and Reason with The humbug and Tock. Along the way, they have many adventures, meet Azaz’s brother, jump to the island Conclusions, and battle demons. But do they rescue Rhyme and Reason? You'll have to read this book for yourself to find out!
I recommend The Phantom Tollbooth to fourth to eighth graders because of its thought-provoking structure and amusing wordplay. I loved reading this book because it is an entertaining yet philosophical story, and a great fantasy tale.