The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

MeHee Hyun, Ph.D.
Core Faculty, Prior Learning Coordinator, BA in Liberal Studies

“Whimsical” seems too frivolous a word, yet it is an apt beginning to describe this invitation to re-think language and how we negotiate growing up, what music looks like, and whether letters or numbers are more important. This quirky children’s book launches you into a journey—navigated by a boy, a watchdog (who has a clock for his body), and a humbug—that requires a search for the two Princesses, Rhyme and Reason. I read this as a child and it forever changed the way I think about language, and it remains a precious favorite for me and my oldest child. I am about to read it to my youngest child for the first time, and I am relishing, once again, opening this guidebook to new worlds.


Broken Kingdoms: Fifty Years of “The Phantom Tollbooth,” by Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker.

The Road to Dictionopolis, an interview with Norton Juster by Laura Miller, Salon.

NPR celebrates The Phantom Tollbooth and its author.

Find this book at your local public library!