28 Feb 2023


The Phantom Tollbooth: The Classic Tale of Adventure and Imagination

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Academic level: College

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The Phantom Tollbooth is a children’s book written by Juster Norton. It gives a story of a young boy who decided to undergo a journey that transformed him from his boredom. Milo was always unaware of what to do with himself because everything he did was boring to him. When in school, he felt bored and hoped to be out but being out was also not interesting him. Most of the things that were expected to be interesting were also boring to him. One day, Milo found a unique gift in his room and that marked the beginning of his journey to the world of great discoveries (Juster, 2011). As expected of the long journey, he encountered difficulties but was able to come out of them successfully. 

Considering the time that the book was written and the current situation, there are distinct cultural differences that can be observed. At that time, many people felt that the book was not fit to be categorized as children’s book since the ideas that the book pointed out were seen to be beyond the children. Currently, the book is easily appreciated for children’s readership as people find it interesting for children’s creativity. By relating with Milo’s decision to take the journey and finally rescue Rhyme and Reason, children are able to desire for courageous characters as portrayed by the ability of Milo to overcome the challenges he encounters. 

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Furthermore, many people during the time this book was published felt that the book dealt with so much fantasy, which was not good for children. They claimed that fantasy makes the children disoriented. In addition, they viewed that learning needs to be less discouraging and should be accessible hence, the use of difficult vocabularies was making learning a difficult encounter. The current society has a different view about fantasy. Children are encouraged to read such books because it helps them sharpen their imagination. Furthermore, the current world where technology has been adopted brings a view that nothing is difficult. 

Although the children will remain as they have been in terms of getting confused or being bored, the society’s perception has helped them to remain focused in handling life challenges. While children may not be able to have an experience with the real tollbooth, there are diverse ways to access the Lands Beyond. 


Juster, N. (2011). The Phantom Tollbooth. New York: Random House Children's Books. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). The Phantom Tollbooth: The Classic Tale of Adventure and Imagination.


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