NPR has a short piece on its website called "My Accidental Masterpiece: The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster. My dad came home one nothing-special day and gave me this book, which he had bought that afternoon. I loved it. The Phantom Tollbooth ranks up there with Narnia and Prydain as the best reading experiences of my youth. Two bits of interest in Juster's NPR article: He had not intended to write the book, and it sparked controversy after publication because:
"Many said that it was not a children's book, the vocabulary was much too difficult, and the ideas were beyond kids. To top it off, they claimed fantasy was bad for children because it disorients them."In rebuttal to the ridiculous idea that children should be treated as less, I will once again quote Mr. Juster because he says it better than I could:
"The aim was that no child would ever have to confront anything that he or she didn't already know. But my feeling is that there is no such thing as a difficult word. There are only words you don't know yet ..."
Hurray for Norton Juster.
Writing progress: I'm about 500 words into what will be a science-fiction story of very short length. Probably flash fiction. The intention is to put some distance between me and my next Writers of the Future entry before I start revising that story.