Phantom Tollbooth

tollboothPhantom Tollbooth

by Sachi and Rachel for Novel Madness 2013

As you walk into the library, you wonder about what you want to pick up and read. You feel the urgency to read an adventurous, unforgettable book that captivates your mind. You ask the librarian, and she jolts up, immediately exclaiming, “The Phantom Tollbooth!” Racing over to the fiction section, your fingers run along the spines of the books until your eyes lock onto the spine you’ve been looking for. There it is. The Phantom Tollbooth. Although a few people might say that James and the Giant Peach is an amazing book, sensible people would realize that The Phantom Tollbooth is an impeccable story that will be passed on from generation to generation. It’s educational, it’s easier to relate to, and it has a ton more adventure and details.

Even though some people might think that James and the Giant Peach is educational, everyone knows that The Phantom Tollbooth is one of the most lesson teaching, yet fun, book out there. For example, the book teaches Milo, and many of the readers, that life isn’t so boring after all. Milo, the main character, thinks of everything as a bore and throughout the story, he grows to learn that life can be full of surprises and diversity if you give it the chance. Also, Milo makes a ton of friends that he’d never imagine in his wildest dreams that he would even ever speak to. Tock, a watchdog that literally has a watch on his back, and Milo become inseparable by the end of the story once they put their differences aside and got to know each other. Friendship is a must for leading an interesting, special life.

Some people may argue that James and the Giant Peach is relatable, but many people know that The Phantom Tollbooth is much easier to relate to, and it’s a lot cooler. James and the Giant Peach teaches its readers to deliberately disobey your family and run off to live in a peach, making friends with a bunch of oversized bugs, while The Phantom Tollbooth teach you to meet new people and get to know them before you start to judge. James and the Giant Peach influences its readers to want to live in a gigantic peach, which can end up pretty horribly. The Phantom Tollbooth has its main character ride in a red convertible car in an entirely different world. I think we all know which book holds more excitement.

A few people may think that James and the Giant Peach has many details and interesting ideas; however, The Phantom Tollbooth uses abstract ideas and has precise details to last you an entire lifetime. In the book, the people that live in the mysterious land have a market where they sell letters, as if they were food. Their names are also pretty literal. The Spelling Bee is a bee who spells almost every single thing that comes out of his mouth. In order to get to the Land of Conclusions, you must jump there. As you get farther into the book you begin to notice all of these little hidden things in the story. There are a whole bunch of the abstract uses of some words. Norton Juster really outdid himself.

You shut the book, and stare at the cover for a couple of moments, reliving the adventurous moments and reading its title over and over again. The Phantom Tollbooth. Smiling, you feel accomplished, dusting your hands off. Bounding down the stairs, you can’t wait to for your mom to get home so you can tell her all about the most fantastic book you just completed. Some people may think that James and the Giant Peach is the best book of all time, but smart people know that The Phantom Tollbooth obviously deserves that title. It teaches thousands of valuable life lessons, it’s definitely and relatable and cooler book, and it has interesting, one of a kind ideas and descriptive words. What do you say? Vote for The Phantom Tollbooth!

For a complete list of Novel Madness 2013 titles and links to students’ essays, click here.

For the results of this matchup, click here.

One thought on “Phantom Tollbooth

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  1. This book truly does captivate your mind with so many literal meanings. The author includes so many creative ideas such as Jumping to Conclusions and Digitopolis. But best of all, it teaches you that every little thing around you is special and has so many uses. Good job on March Madness!

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