I never read this until I was in my '30's, but I was captivated by the inventiveness and hilarity of the book. The rest of this review is over-used cliches, but this is one of the rare books that really are...great for kids of all ages. Yes, I laughed out loud. It's a hoot!Read it, you'll love it!
If you could gene splice the structure of Gulliver's Travels with the psychedelia of Alice in Wonderland and the folksy bent of Nilsson's The Point, you'd probably get pretty close to Norton Juster's 1961 youth classic, The Phantom Tollbooth. I say pretty close, because as entertaining as this moral jaunt is, the satire is much softer than Swift's, the characters not quite as memorable as Alice, and the lessons even more over handed than The Point. Milo is as ordinary as Wonder bread at the start, though he does grow on you by the end. The book works as a travelogue when the scenario Milo is working through is fantastical enough to be entertaining, but at other times the device is too thin to mask the sermon behind it. Some kids will enjoy the zany characters but others will be bored by its relatively slow pacing.