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The Phantom Tollbooth | Study Guide

Norton Juster

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Course Hero. "The Phantom Tollbooth Study Guide." Course Hero. 18 Jan. 2018. Web. 28 May 2023. <>.

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The Phantom Tollbooth | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • After school

    Milo arrives home and finds a package containing the Phantom Tollbooth, which he puts together.

    Chapter 1
  • Soon after

    Milo drives through the Phantom Tollbooth.

    Chapter 1
  • Soon after

    Milo enters the Doldrums and meets Tock.

    Chapter 2
  • Soon after

    Milo and Tock arrive in Dictionopolis.

    Chapter 3
  • Soon after

    Milo and Tock are sent to jail, where they meet Faintly Macabre.

    Chapter 5
  • Sometime later

    Milo meets King Azaz at the royal banquet.

    Chapter 7
  • Soon after

    Milo, Tock, and the Humbug leave to rescue Rhyme and Reason.

    Chapter 8
  • Sometime later

    Milo meets the Mathemagician.

    Chapter 14
  • Soon after

    The Mathemagician agrees to allow Milo to save Rhyme and Reason.

    Chapter 16
  • Sometime later

    Milo, Tock, and the Humbug arrive at Castle in the Air.

    Chapter 18
  • Soon after

    Milo rescues Rhyme and Reason and is met by the armies of Wisdom.

    Chapter 19
  • Sometime later

    Milo returns home through the Phantom Tollbooth.

    Chapter 20
  • The next day

    Milo comes home from school to find the Phantom Tollbooth has been taken to another child.

    Chapter 20

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Milo never knows "what to do with himself." He is always bored and "nothing really interests him." Milo thinks that lear... Read More
Chapter 2 Milo's adventure begins as he speeds "along an unfamiliar country highway." For once he is aware of his new surroundings... Read More
Chapter 3 The Watchdog tells Milo to call him Tock. Milo says, "that is a strange name for a dog who goes tickticktickticktick all... Read More
Chapter 4 People at the Word Market are selling lots of words, including "ifs, ands, and buts" and "ripe where and when." A man tr... Read More
Chapter 5 The spilled letters get all mixed up, and, as a result, sentences don't make sense. Someone shouts, "Done what you've lo... Read More
Chapter 6 Faintly Macabre tells the story of how the Kingdom of Wisdom was built by a prince who arrived by ship on the Sea of Kno... Read More
Chapter 7 Milo and Tock arrive at the palace and notice that it looks like a book. The other guests are the people previously seen... Read More
Chapter 8 After the meal is over the king calls for everyone's attention and all the guests rush out of the hall to eat dinner. Mi... Read More
Chapter 9 Milo, Tock, and the Humbug begin their road trip through a thick forest. They are admiring the view when a boy appears, ... Read More
Chapter 10 Milo thinks they are lost, but Alec explains that they are "right here on this very spot." When you're lost, you don't k... Read More
Chapter 11 Instead of waking up Chroma when it is time for the sunrise, Milo replaces him, thinking that he'd like to give conducti... Read More
Chapter 12 Their journey next takes the travelers into a silent valley where no sounds can be heard, no matter how loud they shout.... Read More
Chapter 13 Milo returns from his visit to the Soundkeeper and says that he has sound on the tip of his tongue. A cannon is aimed at... Read More
Chapter 14 The road divides into three, and a sign gives the distance in miles, rods, yards, feet, inches, and half inches. A stran... Read More
Chapter 15 The travelers have lunch with their hosts down in the mine, and the more they eat, the hungrier they get. Milo eats nine... Read More
Chapter 16 Milo climbs up a stairway that becomes endless. The more he climbs, the more there is to go, and he never gets close to ... Read More
Chapter 17 The three work at their tasks for what seems like days, making little progress. Milo wonders how long it will take to co... Read More
Chapter 18 Milo, Tock, and the Humbug keep climbing in search of the Castle in the Air. The demons still watch them in the distance... Read More
Chapter 19 Tock and the others land on the ground with a jolt. As they gallop down the mountainside, demons and gorgons follow them... Read More
Chapter 20 Milo drives through the countryside, wondering how long he has been gone. In the distance he sees the tollbooth, which h... Read More
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