|Norton Juster in Decatur, GA, on December 9, 2011|
Thanks to some amazing people who work at one amazing independent children's bookstore, the city of Decatur, GA, held a several-month-long initiative called "On the Same Page" where everyone in the city was encouraged to read, share, and discuss the same book. The inaugural program selected one of my all-time favorite books, The Phantom Tollbooth. And the grand finale of this program was a visit from Norton Juster.
When it was my turn to meet him and have my book signed, I got choked up. I had about 5 whole seconds in which to tell him how much that book meant to me as a kid. And he was so warm and genuine in his response, telling me it meant a lot to hear that. I shook his hand (I actually clasped his hand in both of mine) and then off I floated.
If you haven't read The Phantom Tollbooth, I suggest you stop what you're doing and go out to get either the 50th anniversary edition or the new annotated edition (the one I now have) and to read it yourself or to share it with the children in your life.