Our inaugural On The Same Page selection was The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved classic, and we were thrilled to have Norton Juster, and renowned critic and author of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth, Leonard Marcus, visit Atlanta.
About The Phantom Tollbooth:
Milo is a dreadfully bored child who doesn't see meaning or purpose in anything. One day he discovers a tollbooth in his bedroom, and since he has nothing better to do, he pays the toll and drives through. Milo finds himself in The Lands Beyond, a magical and mysterious world full of odd characters and epic adventures. He meets a watchdog with a giant clock for a body named Tock, goes to a banquet where he must eat his words, mines for numbers, conducts a symphony of colors, and sets out on a journey to rescue the two Princesses, Rhyme and Reason, from demons. Full of puns, word play and irony, The Phantom Tollbooth has become a must-read for children and adults alike.
The Phantom Tollbooth is all about words and numbers. In the true spirit of the book, here are some numbers that represented our 2011 program:
12: the number of schools that incorporated The Phantom Tollbooth into their curriculum.
45: the number of book groups that met to discuss the book
75: the number of kids who attended our Phantom Tollbooth party. At the party, people could be found buying words at the market, participating in a spelling bee, creating clocks, and eating their words (which tasted a lot like sugar cookies).
350: the number of students given a free copy of the book (these were students who otherwise may not have been able to purchase a book on their own).
1338: the number of copies of The Phantom Tollbooth purchased during the program from Little Shop of Stories
2000: a conservative estimate for the number of people who have read The Phantom Tollbooth and are On The Same Page this fall.