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The phantom tollbooth - a good tool to use?

(10 Posts)
maggi Sat 15-Sep-12 22:58:20

Hi all. I wanted to share a resources idea for those of you with children (especially boys) who have been turned off from education. I read the Phantom Tollbooth several times as a child and enjoyed it but as an adult could not recall more than that about it. Have found a copy for my 12yr old and was surprized when I read it as an adult to discover it as all about a boy who has been turned off to education and his journey in a fantasy land encountering many characters/situations which represent different aspects of learning and attitude to learning. It can be, and I think mostly is used for, primary ages (which is when I originally read it). However it is so full of underlying morals and plays on language, not to mention the interesting long words, that it is easily suitable for secondary too.

My 12yr old quickly identified with the main character and enjoys (actually enjoys!) discussing it. It is mirroring his own return to a thirst for knowledge.

Would love to hear from anyone who may have found the same and can you tell me any of the back up activities you did. Or do you know of other inspiring texts which your children clicked with?

Tinuviel Sun 16-Sep-12 01:32:35

DS1 read it ages ago and really enjoyed it but I don't think DS2 or DD have ever read it. There is a literature study on it here, which I haven't used but I have used activities out of another of theirs (The Golden Goblet) which had some good activities in as I remember. It's a great book.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 21-Sep-12 23:04:44

Hi Maggie.

My 2 ds's read this book in primary and both said they enjoyed it. I didn't know what it was about and am now gutted because I don't think we kept it. I think it would be good for dd, so will have to buy again. My 2 ds's are 21 and 17 so it was widely used then as well.

BeatTheClock Fri 21-Sep-12 23:20:50

It was one of my favourite books as a child. Ds read it a few months ago (he's 10 nearly 11 now) and loved it. I still remember bit of it quite clearly. I anyone ever says 'jumping to conclusions' it makes me think of it grin I likes the insular world it created. That clicked completely for me.

I also remember another good one Fattypuffs and Thinnifers. Similar to Tollbooth in being surreal but very good. Actually I must get that one for ds.

And don't forget Stig of the Dump! It can be hard to find books that boys enjoy that aren't about all the usual stuff they're 'supposed' to like.

As a child I also loved a book called The Ship that Flew. I read that at around the same age. About a magic ship that took off on adventures into the past.

I managed to get hold of a copy and read it to my dc. It was still good but very wrong in some places. It was of it's time shall we say, and some of the terminology wasn't so good read through a modern perspective. But even that gave us some food for thought and dc were interested to discuss the changes in attitudes that have happened over the years which I thought was good. The adventures in it are brill though.

BeatTheClock Fri 21-Sep-12 23:21:43

Like not 'likes' goodness me! Sorry.blush

plutocrap Sat 22-Sep-12 09:41:48

women's instincts are very well honed and for a good reason too I am not saying that men's instincts are not well honed but women's are better.

Not necessarily. Statistically, women are in the majority at lower, more vulnerable reaches of an organisation, and that is just the side to which a sociopath would show his/her mean side, while his/her shining, glorious side would be upturned, towards management.

Don't they tell us to observe how people behave to those in positions of less power, e.g. waitresses, cleaners on the Underground, etc.?

plutocrap Sat 22-Sep-12 09:42:34

I am such a fool! Please ignore that; I posted on the wrong thread!


lljkk Sat 22-Sep-12 12:17:52

I liked it as a kid & reread it when I handed it to DS (then 10). We both agree it's rather moralistic, similar to A Wrinkle in Time, to my vague horror.

Meglet Sat 22-Sep-12 12:23:27

(not home ed, just saw the title).

Phantom Tollbooth is my most favourite book. DS is almost 6 so I think we might need to start reading it! The bit where people scurry down the street loking at the ground, and the world disappears always makes me think of everyone looking at their mobile and ignoring the world going by.

Tinuviel Sat 22-Sep-12 16:58:00

The Crown of Success by ALOE is an interesting book of a similar type but much more moralistic and it's about personal development, not just academic learning. Very Victorian but quite fun to read.

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