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The Must-Read Book Club

Allison Richard: I was introduced to it in a children's lit class in college. I'm in awe of the simplicity of the story yet genius in the wordsmithing that Juster uses playing on the literal meaning behind common words and phrases to demonstrate how what you think and say shapes your existence.

YCNYC: Favorite quote?

AR: "You're on the Island of Conclusions," said Canby.

"But how did we get here?" asked Milo.

"You jumped, of course. That's the way most everyone gets here. It's really quite simple: every time you decide something without having a good reason, you jump to Conclusions whether you like it or not."

But this is such an unpleasant-looking place," Milo remarked.

Yes, that's true, admitted Canby; "it does look much better from a distance.... You can never jump away from Conclusions. Getting back is not so easy."

YCNYC: What one person would you recommend this book to?

AR: My sister. She was a math major and I was an English major. In the story there are two cities governed by rival brothers: Dictionopolis, the city of words, and Digitopolis, the city of numbers.

YCNYC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?

AR: The first few pages where Milo, the main character, is rushing along to get to his destination without noticing the world around him, only to get there and feel bored and apathetic with nothing to do. It's a simple reminder how easy it can be to get caught up in the should's and the to-do's of day-to-day life and forget to appreciate the beauty and magic in all the little moments of your journey that actually create your life.

You can purchase The Phantom Tollbooth here.

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