Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth


I was recently traveling and brought along my favorite book to read, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. While I was sitting in the airport and on the plane, I was shocked by the number of people who had never even heard of the classic book. So, I felt it was time to write a review for the best book ever written!

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Ok, so I might be biased. But it is truly a gem that everyone, young and old, needs to read.

The story follows a young boy named Milo who is bored with everything. When he is at home, he is thinking of school. When he is at school, he is thinking of home. Nothing is exciting. That is until, a mysterious present appears in his bedroom. Inside is a tollbooth.

With nothing to do, he decides to play with it. But to his shock, it transports him to a fantastic, silly land when he goes through.

On the other side is a world where everything is a play on words or an alliteration. Such as the "whether man" who doesn't predict the "weather" but think it is more important to know whether there will be weather than not.

He soon discovered a disharmony in the land ruled by two competing brothers. One rules from Dictionopolis and the other from Digitopolis. The former thinks only letters and words and important. And the latter thinks only numbers are important.

So Milo sets out to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason to restore order to the land.

This book is a fun, whimsical adventure that will have you and your child laughing and thinking throughout. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It truly is my favorite book of all time.

To hear more about it, check out my YouTube review of the book here:


Written by Benjamin Ellefson, an avid reader and the author of the children’s book The Land without Color. Learn more at

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Benjamin Ellefson

Benjamin Ellefson

Benjamin Ellefson is a children's author who loves to write whimsical adventures.  Each book is a modern fairy tale that are fun for kids and thought provoking for adults.  In his writing, he celebrates important values of self-reliance, preparedness, and diversity.

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