Thursday, April 9, 2015
Book Review: "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster
Small confession: I had never read this before. Ever. I have a vague recollection of watching a movie version? Or was there a TV series based on this book? I don't really remember. Besides, my memory ends when he goes through the tollbooth. I have always wondered why that was - why couldn't I remember what happens on the other side of the tollbooth? I think I've got it now, or at least a pretty good idea.
I have always been a very literal person. I've learned quite a bit about when to be literal and when not to be so much, but I think I had a lot of trouble with this when I was younger. Therefore, I think that even if I saw this on TV or as a movie (or maybe because of this) I didn't understand the puns and word play that is all over this book. Now, of course, I see its brilliance and the humor - it really is fantastic. But I think that then, probably not so much.
I think this is perfect for older middle grade readers or younger teens... unless this is being used as a read aloud and the adult is there to explain any phrases or jokes that could be missed by a younger reader/listener. I'm really glad I finally read this - it is a treasure of the English language!
The Phantom Tollbooth- 50th Anniversary Edition
by Norton Juster
Knopf, 2011. First published 1961
Source: Copy provided by the publisher