Author: L. Frank Baum
Pages: Hardback, 185
Published: This edition was published in 1963
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers
Opening Lines: "Dorothy lives in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife."
"Join Dorothy Gale, Toto, and all of her friends as they explore the incredible land of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is American's most enduring fairy tale. From the moment Dorothy puts on the silver slippers (changed to ruby slippers by MGM to take advantage of their new advance in movie making: color) until the moment she clicks her heels and returns home to Kansas you will be swept away and captivated by her extraordinary story."
After watching Oz the Great and Powerful, I decided it was finally time for me to sit down and read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Having grown up watching the Judy Garland movie, I felt I was pretty familiar with the book. However, I was wrong.
When a tornado tears through the Kansas prairie and picks up Dorothy's house, the young girl is transported to the land of Oz. After landing on the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy's greatest desire is to find a way back to her Aunt and Uncle. However, the Good Witch of the North can only give her a kiss of protection and send her to ask the Wizard of Oz for help. Thus begins Dorothy's adventure to the Emerald City, friendships with unlikely friends, the destruction of another wicked witch, and her way home.
To be honest, part of me felt that this book was not originally intended for children. The whole reason behind the Tin Woodman being tin was rather gruesome, the issues surrounding Oz, and other things, really made me feel that a lot of these elements were not meant for a younger audience. Further, Baum's political commentary would be completely lost of children. That being said, I can see why this book has appealed to several generations of children and continues to be a classic.
While reading this book, I kept thinking that our current generation of children would not even survive Oz. Dorothy, who is probably younger than ten, knows enough to conserve food, thinks logically about things, locks her house, and is extremely polite. To me, that was completely astounding and wonderful. I wonder what's happened to the current generation . . .
Even though this book is a classic, it really did not appeal to me. The story very episodic and simplistic. However, if I had read this book as a child, it might have held a lot more magic. As it was, I found myself enjoying the movie more than the book. The movie made some of the characters more loveable. For example, the Scarecrow was a completely unlikeable and unsympathetic character. Before receiving his brains from the Wizard, he was bossy, demanding, and a good foreman. After getting the brains, he became more aloof and refused to talk to his friends because he was too smart. What?!
It is interesting that this book is still poignant for our current political climate. That being said, I generally did not love this book. It was meh. Honestly, everybody should read this book. It's a classic, an interesting story, and a good look at the issues plaguing the nation at the time.
Current Pages: 3714