10 Fantasy Books Like The Phantom Tollbooth

Children's Fantasy Books

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Weisberg, is about Milo, a bored boy with life. He has plenty of time but doesn’t see anything worth doing. One day he finds a package in his room. It’s been left there mysteriously, and this package contains a tollbooth he drives through in his toy car because he has nothing better to do. Also, he is transported to this fantasy world where nothing’s quite the same as it is here. He visits the island of conclusions, which you get to by jumping.

There’s constant excitement and adventure, and Milo has to work his way through and solve all the problems he gets into, which is interesting to read. The author uses constant puns and wordplay, but he uses this to teach essential life lessons.

Books like The Phantom Tollbooth are wonderful allegories that encourage children to think critically about the world around them. They also encourage readers to question what they take for granted and look at problems from different angles. Their unbelievable adventure stories will capture your imagination and take you on a journey to a world of endless possibilities.

10 Books Like The Phantom Tollbooth (Children’s Adventure Fantasy)

In The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo goes to the land of bullets, the land of words. While he was there, he learned the importance of wisely choosing words. Along the way, Milo understands essential lessons about the value of knowledge, the power of imagination, and the importance of critical thinking.

So Milo learned many lessons, and I appreciated how the author taught and made you think about the world. I will discuss ten children’s books similar to The Phantom Tollbooth to help your children learn ethics, morality, and life adventure. So let’s go!

1. The Mysterious Benedict Society

Imagine yourself being 12 years old, and you are looking at a newspaper. This newspaper advertisement asks for young, gifted children looking for special opportunities. You have to take several mind-bending, mysterious tests, and it’s until you pass these tests that you are eligible for these very special opportunities, and only four kids can do it. These kids have to be resourceful. They have to be ingenious because of what they’re about to do.

They’re on a special mission. What kind of mission is that? You’re probably asking you all save the world mission. They must form a team, friendship, and pact because they must rely on each other. A newly formed friendship is at stake, test their weaknesses and strengths. So that’s basically what the mysterious Benedict Society is all about.

The Mysterious Benedict Society is very character-driven but revolves heavily around each character’s character development and growth. Each of these kids is unique and different. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Rainey is a very logical, smart character who can quickly solve puzzles. Sticky is a timid character, but his brain is like a computer. Whenever he reads a book, he downloads and memorizes all the information.

So he is the memory master. Then there’s Kate, who is resourceful. She hangs around her waist, which is so cute and cool. Their relationship is significant, and the success of their mission relies heavily on them working together.

Like The Phantom Tollbooth, the book has many different backgrounds and personalities, and everyone has strengths and weaknesses. A lot of action happens at the very end of the book. This mission that these kids had to compete with was saving the world. The plot was more of a device for the characters to develop to test their friendship as a relationship for kids.

Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Children’s Mystery, Detective, & Spy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

2. The Witches

This book is about a little boy and his parents dying for his grandmother, and they go and stay at this hotel. There is a witch’s conference going on, thus unfolding the story. Reading it made me realize how amazing Anjelica Houston did on the ground high, which was phenomenal.

You’ve got his parents dying in this beginning, and kids can understand that can be a part of a storyline. There are illustrations by Quentin Blake, and these were particularly brilliant. You’ve got pictures like the one of his grandmother, who is always smoking a cigar.

The Witches explains witches who have no jobs. But this is not a fairy tale, and this is about real. You should pay attention to this. It is such a well-crafted work of fiction that it is enjoyable for someone of any age. Working with innovative storytelling similar to The Phantom Tollbooth also has many little parts. There’s a bit where the author says all you have to do to make a child very small is to look at him through the wrong end of a telescope.

Author: Roald Dahl
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books (Teachers’ pick)
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD | Graphic Novel

3. The Secret of Platform 13

The Secret of Platform 13 is set in London but also set in a magical kingdom. Like The Phantom Tollbooth, the main characters are wizards, mermaids, ogres, and other beautiful creatures. Their mission in this book is to go and save a prince of their kingdom because he was stolen nine years ago. The book starts with this terrible woman who wants to have a child. So she stole him away from his nannies because they visited London to see the sights and visit relatives.

Nine years later, when they can return to London because they’re a magical kingdom, it’s not always available. So they are charged with going and finding him. They find him, and they have to convince him to return. But some little side stories are going on, and a little bit of trouble when bringing back the lost friends. It’s mishaps that are along the way.

They’re headstrong about what they want to do but still work as a team. Also, it’s incredible because you can see that it’s interesting. Something always went wrong when people tried to pull down that part of the station and redevelop it. An architect who wanted to build shops there suddenly came out, offered boils, and went to Spain. When they tried to relay the tracks for electricity, the surveyors said the ground wasn’t suitable. It was as though people knew something about Platform 13.

Author: Eva Ibbotson
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Children’s Dragon, Unicorn & Mythical Stories
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio Cassette

4. The Penderwicks at Last

It’s the fifth book of the series. This is a beloved series for children. One thing that’s so interesting about this five-book series is that there are five girl characters. So the four girl characters, Rosalyn, Skye, Jane, and then Batty, are the original four daughters we meet in the first book. Then Penderwick gets married to a neighbor, Eantha, and she has a little boy Ben. They have a daughter together, Lydia. So each book is based around the daughter, who’s 12 years old.

The Penderwicks At Last, is Lydia’s story. Jeanne Birdsall did a nice plot twist to bring all the books back together to the original location of the first book, Arundel. They stayed in this place for the summer, where they met Jeffrey. They’re on a big occasion, a big family reunion. What’s also nice is they got Jeffrey’s mother back into the story, and she’s the evil mother who dislikes and disapproves of them. She makes a lot of excitement to the story and helps to wrap it up. The adventure and plot environment is very similar to The Phantom Tollbooth.

Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Children’s Siblings Books, Adventure
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5. The Borrowers

This one is a vintage book that was written in the 1950s. Author Mary Norton is from England, and she writes about these little people who live under the floorboards of homes and their little families and how they make their living as they go out into the homes. They look for things to borrow that they need, from food to supplies to anything they can create, something they can use. Maybe a toothpaste cap becomes a glass for them. There’s one older lady left with her housekeeper, and Ariadne is the little girl in the story and her parents.

They are stuck in their tiny home under the kitchen floorboards, and no one can see them. So they’re the only ones left in this home and are leaving to live a solitary life. So one day, Arrietty convinces her father to let her go borrowing at night with him, and when she goes, she is seen by this little boy.

This little boy is staying with his great-aunt. He was ill, and now he’s recovering. So he’s curious and doesn’t tell anyone about this little girl, but he and she have become friends. So I recommend The Borrowers. It has stood the test of time. There are more books in this series, similar to The Phantom Tollbooth.

Author: Mary Norton
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books
Available: Mass Market Paperback | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a classic children’s book published in 1865. Like “The Phantom Tollbooth,” a whimsical and imaginative story takes the reader through a surreal world. The story follows a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in a fantastical world filled with talking animals and bizarre creatures. Alice’s adventures through Wonderland are filled with puzzles, and wordplay, making the book a joy to read for both children and adults.

7. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

The Neverending Story is a fantasy novel published in 1979 by German author Michael Ende. It’s a story that blurs the line between fantasy and reality. The story features a young boy, Bastian. He discovers a magical book that takes him on a journey through the world of Fantastica.

The book is filled with rich and imaginative descriptions of creatures. Both “The Phantom Tollbooth” and this book are about the power of imagination and the importance of stories in our lives. Ende’s engaging writing makes the book captivating for all ages.

8. The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon is a children’s mystery novel published in 1971. The story is filled with wordplay and puzzles and follows a young girl, Alice. She is trying to solve the mystery of her grandfather’s disappearance.

9. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a science fiction novel that explores complex ideas in a way accessible to children. We follow Meg, who journeys through space and time to rescue her father from evil forces. The book shows love, family, and the struggle between good and evil. L’Engle’s writing is thoughtful and inspiring. Fans of The Phantom Tollbooth will love it.

10. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden is a classic children’s novel that celebrates imagination’s power and curiosity’s importance. A young girl, Mary, discovers a secret garden on her uncle’s estate. The garden becomes a refuge for Mary, and she soon discovers the magic and wonder of nature.

The book is a timeless story about the power of hope and the importance of finding beauty in the world around us. Burnett’s writing is poetic and evocative, making the book beautiful, similar to The Phantom Tollbooth.

Last Words

These books are enjoyable and can help you develop essential skills and perspectives that benefit you in many aspects of life. Children can learn valuable life lessons about the importance of curiosity, learning, friendship, and perseverance.

Read More Children’s Adventure Books:

Books Similar To The City Of Ember

Mystery Books Like The Westing Game

Historical Books Like Esperanza Rising

Dystopian Books Like Last Kids On Earth

Children Learning Books About Cows

Bedtime Books About Pigs

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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