The Phantom Tollbooth: My Favorite Book

When I was about 8 years old, my teacher gave me a book called “The Phantom Tollbooth.” I had no idea why the teacher gave me the book and it came with no explanation other than, “You should read this.” Unbelievably, I was a bit of a wild card back then, prone to bothering the teachers and most other authority figures. 

It really was not my fault. School bored me, painfully so. Side note: It really was my fault, I acknowledge that now, but not then, ha. Anyway, I saw this book as a chance to escape, as a I was an avid reader, and the title intrigued me.

When I got home, I cracked open the book and began to read. As it turns out, Milo, the main character, was just like me: bored to death by school. He was bored about everything, including his own room where his stuff just was not fun anymore. As I read, the story drew me in because I found too many similarities between Milo and myself.

Milo, on a terribly boring day, drags himself into his room only to find a giant package waiting for him. He opens the package and finds a tollbooth like you would find on the highway, awaiting assembly, complete with a coin for the slot. Things could not get much worse for Milo, so he gets in his toy electric car, drops the coin in the slot, and drives through the little gate. 

Next, Milo finds himself driving down a road in a magical land and this is where the fun starts. He meets characters like the “whether” man, Toc, Humbug, Rhyme and Reason, the Mathmagician, and the Lethargians to name a few.

I have read this book two times a year, every year, since I was 8 years old. That is *** times; no need to divulge that number, but suffice to say it is a lot. 

I love the book for many reasons, but mainly because I find it a landscape of life, one that I have traveled so exceptionally long. I see it, in some ways, as my own story, and one that I am still living, except my rhyme and reason has a different name, a name above all names.

 It does not matter how old you are, please consider checking this gem out and tell me about your experience. Happy Driving, Milo!

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