Thursday, October 30, 2008


I recommend this to adolescent readers because it is easy reading and educational. Milo is an elementary student with his sidekick Tock. Tock is a time clock dog who helps Milo. This is an adventure story that utilizes learning. This ties in with the concept of education and using it to your advantage.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rhyme and Reason

After the sunset and Alec, they meet the Dodecahedron, a figure having twelve faces. Each of them express a different emotion. He takes them to the Mathemagician, who shows them the Numbers Mine, where the world's digits are pulled from the earth like jewels. This is the equivalent to the letter market in Dictionopolis. In the mine, Milo and company was served subtraction soup, where the more you ate, the more it made you hungrier. Past the way to infinity, Milo tricks the Mathemagician into agreeing with his brother to release the princesses. So the Mathemagician takes them to the edge of the Mountains of Ignorance, and provides Milo with a magic wand which was really only a pencil.

Once in the mountains, the three encounter many demons. The first is the Everpresent Wordsnatcher, an ugly birdlike creature who always interrupts. After the bird flew away, the continued down the path until they met the Terrible Trivium. He was the demon of useless and worthless jobs. The defeated him with the help of the demon of insecurity, who soon ran away because he was depressed that Milo outsmarted him. The defeated demons then aroused the whole population of their realm to pursue the travelers. With the demons close behind them, Milo and company climb to the Castle-in-the-Air, where the two princesses welcome Milo. The enraged demons, meanwhile, chop off the base of the staircase, causing the Castle to begin to float away. Because "time flies", Tock is able to carry the others safely back to earth, where the combined armies of Wisdom are waiting. The armies then defeat the demons. The two leaders welcome the princesses home and begin a celebration to mark their return.
Milo thereafter returns home. He learns that the entire adventure, which seemed to him weeks long, has only lasted an hour.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Finally Milo and Tock arrive in Dictionopolis. It is one of two capital cities of Wisdom. In Dictionopolis, Milo learns, all the world's letters are grown in orchards. The letters are sold in a vast marketplace. In this marketplace, Milo and Tock meet the spelling bee. He could spell anything. As they are talking, a beetle like creature called Humbug interrupts. He wanted to be introduced to Milo and Tock. The Spelling Bee get into a fight, where Milo is blamed and sent to prison for six million years.
In the prison, Milo meets a person called "Faintly Macabre, the not-so-wicked Which, who tells him the history of Wisdom's two rulers, King Azaz and the Mathemagician, and their adopted sisters, Rhyme and Reason. According to this story, the two princesses were unable to settle the long-standing argument between their brothers over whether letters or numbers are more important. Because they couldn't get the Kings to decide, they were sent to the Castle in the Air. The Castle in the Air was high in Mountains of Ignorance where the demons also lived. Milo states that if he ever gets out of jail, he will set the Which free by bringing back Rhyme and Reason. The policeman didn't care for keeping in jail, he just liked putting them there, so all Milo and Tock had to do to get out was press a button and they were free.

As soon as they stepped into the sunlight, one of the kings advisers escorted them to a banquet with the cabinet members, where he meets King Azaz the Unabridged. King Azaz agrees to allow the princesses to be rescued, providing his brother also agrees. However, Milo learns, that this is very unlikely, as the brothers have not agreed on anything for years. Milo and Tock then leave Dictionopolis with the blustering Humbug, whom Azaz has sent along as a guide, towards the Mathemagician's capital of Digitopolis.

The first place that they encountered after Dictionopolis was the Forest of Sight. There they meet Alec Bings, a little boy who sees through things. They walked awhile and soon found themselves in the twin cities of Reality and Illusions. There is hardly anything in these cities because the citizens never paid attention to the things so eventually they disappeared. In the city of illusions they watch Chroma and his orchestra of color conduct the sunset. Chroma does this everyday for sunrise and sunset. The next place that they go through is the Valley of Sound, where they encounter Dr. Kakafonous A. Dischord, who dispenses unpleasant noises. The next place is completely silent and is called the valley proper. Here, Milo visits the fortress of the Soundkeeper, creator of all sounds, who has withheld the valley's sounds because the inhabitants had stopped appreciating them. As directed by the valley's inhabitants, Milo secretly takes a sound from the Soundkeeper's fortress, which the people of the valley use to break open the palace's sound vault. Milo and his friends then continue their journey, taking a short detour to the Island of Conclusions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Phantom Tollbooth is written by Norton Juster

Milo was a very unsatisfied child. He is the main character and is approximately 10 years old. He is unsatisfied because he is never content in what he is doing and never sees a purpose in doing things. He longs to be out of school when he is in, and he longs to be in when he's out. He often wonders what his purpose in life is. One day he finds a large package on his bedroom floor. He looks for an address to see who or where it's from, but finds nothing. After opening it, he finds a small purple tollbooth. He puts it together and drives through with a little car. As soon as he deposits the coin, he is instantly transported to a different place.

He brought a map that had a destination of Dictionopolis. The place he went to was the Kingdom of Wisdom. As he is driving, he losses concentration and becomes lost in the Doldrums. This is a place with no color where thinking is not allowed. He talks to the inhabitants of the Doldrums, called Lethagariams, for awhile and is soon rescued by a watchdog named Tock. Milo explains to Tock that he is looking for Dictionopolis and Tock agrees to assist him.