The 50th Anniversary of The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth takes me back to the spring of 2006, when my fourth graders and I turned our classroom into the Kingdom of Wisdom. We built Milo's car, hoisted up the Mountains of Ignorance, swam in the Sea of Knowledge, designed costumes for the characters, and wrote original plays based on the book. At the end of the unit, I was honest and frank with my students. I told them that I felt discouraged and frustrated when I found out we were reading The Phantom Tollbooth. (It was way too hard for most of them.) However, it turned out to be one of the best teaching and learning experiences. When I run into "4-Schu, the famous news crew," they always bring up The Phantom Tollbooth. Thank you, Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, for taking us on "A Journey to the Lands Beyond."

Anita Silvey's Children's Book-a-Day Almanac celebrated The Phantom Tollbooth on June 2.

Should I email my SLJ cover to my former fourth graders? :)

Borrow The Phantom Tollbooth from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


  1. Hey Mr. Schu,
    Thought you'd be interested in the documentary we're making about The Phantom Tollbooth with Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer (the footage from The Random House book trailer is from our work!). Check it out here: If you like, feel free to share - we'd like to get the word out!


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