Worlds of Experience After School

Pope Edwards, Carolyn
January 2001
Human Development (0018716X);2001, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p59
Academic Journal
In the children’s classic, The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster [1961], a little boy named Milo is stirred out of a chronic state of boredom, lethargy, and nonengagement by a magical trip that begins when he receives a mysterious gift box bearing the label, ‘For Milo, who has plenty of time’. The book begins with Milo alone, with no company but his unhappy thoughts, facing another tedious afternoon. Then he notices the gift box, follows the instructions, and drives off through the gate of the mysterious Tollbooth, to begin an after-school adventure that changes his feelings toward himself and the world around him. Exploring a land with places named Dictionopolis, Digitopolis, Foothills of Confusion, and the Doldrums, Milo discovers the fascination of words and numbers and begins to forget that ‘the world, which was so large, could sometimes feel so small and empty’. At the end of the trip, Milo realizes that right outside his own window there are woods and gardens to get to know, music to play, conversations to hear, books to take him anywhere. He decides he would like to take another trip, but doesn’t know when he will have the time. ‘There’s just so much to do right here’, he says, in the closing sentence of the book.Copyright © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel


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