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The editors have devised a rating system known as "tocks," alarm clocks, in honor of Milo's faithful watchdog guide in The Phantom Tollbooth. 

Scalar ratings are an imprecise and incomplete way of conveying the feelings of a reviewer.  The Phantom Tollbooth provides the scalar rating as a convenience to our readers--a quick way to gauge the reviewer's overall feeling toward the material.  The ratings do not denote excellence or deficiencies in any one particular area, but a combination of all of the reviewer's standards of judgement (such as writing ability, story line, quality, alignment with Christian views, etc.).  Because reviewers differ, their standards for judging a book will differ.  Therefore, The Phantom Tollbooth urges the reader to not use the scalar rating as an authoritative opinion on the material, but to read the review itself.  This will provide a more complete understanding of the material's merits or downfalls according to the reviewer's individual standards--something that 1 to 5 tocks just can't do.

Each book is awarded up to five tocks according to the following ratings: 

     5 - A masterpiece
     4 - Worth owning
     3 - Flip through it/preview it at the bookstore before buying or Check out of the library before buying
     2 - Aren't there better things to do?
     1 - Avoid like the plague
 

 

 
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