The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster
Milo is a boy who takes no interest in anything and thinks that life is a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he's got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things are different.
Milo passes through the Land of Expectations, gets trapped in the Doldrums, visits Dictionopolis (a city of words), drives through the Forest of Sight - where he learns about different points of view (and colours the world) - brings sound to the Silent Valley, jumps to the Island of Conclusions, discovers infinity in Digitopolis (a city of numbers), and embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Along the way, Milo discovers that life is far from dull.
Full of verbal wordplay and wit, while highlighting the demons of society such as compromise, hindsight, exaggeration and threadbare excuses, The Phantom Tollbooth is a fabulous fantasy that reaffirms the importance of inquisitiveness, creativity, and optimism. First published in 1961, it can be read again and again.