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Runaway Adventure

Runaway Adventure


Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster:

For Milo, everything’s 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 seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams!


The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pene du Bois:

Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions. "William Pene du Bois combines his rich imagination, scientific tastes, and brilliant artistry to tell a story that has no age limit."—The Horn Book


Without intending to, Milo and Professor William Waterman Sherman end up a part of two very different runaway adventures! From lives of monotony and routine, they are thrown into worlds just about opposite from the normal day-to-day occurrences they are used to. Hang on for this wild ride, as we uncover the importance of Rhyme and Reason and the possibilities behind the Krakatoa volcanic eruption through these two runaway adventures!


Learning objectives:

  • Interpretation and understanding of metaphors and comparisons

  • The Krakatoa volcanic eruption

  • Comparing multiple perspectives on the same event, idea, or theme

  • Evaluation and impact of historical context

  • Identifies an author or narrator's point of view and explains how this affects the content of a text

  • Use of direct quotes from texts to explain and prove ideas about the reading


  • Recommended for: Ages 9+ / Grades 4-5 
  • Instructor: Eve Babb
  • Day and Time: Thursdays, 12:45-1:45 PM ET
  • Duration: 4 classes
  • Dates: October 12 - November 2
  • Required Materials:
    • Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
    • The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pene du Bois