Chapter Books – Phantom Tollbooth

Milo is always in too much of a hurry to look around him, yet bored and dull when he arrives. One day he is surprised to discover a package in his room. It turns out to be the start of a great adventure, when Milo is whisked off to the Land of Wisdom and given the quest to save the princesses Rhyme and Reason. Along the way he meets a huge variety of strange and interesting people and circumstances.

The wordplay and puns could easily have been stupid and forced instead of whimsical and clever. I’ve read other books that were trying for the same tone and fell flat. Here the wordplay just works. (Mostly. There were one or two places, like the list of demons in Ignorance, were the joke went on a little too long. But mostly it was spot on.)

There’s not a lot of true character development, but that’s not really the point of the story, so I don’t care. Theoretically Milo changes a lot, but right from the beginning he’s willing to go along and do things, so even though we’re told that he’s a boring dull boy who never thinks or does things, we never actually see that side of him.

Highly recommended for fans of wordplay, adventure, or strange fantasy quests.

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