The Wizard of Oz

By L. Frank Baum,

Book cover of The Wizard of Oz

Book description

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'"Come along, Toto," she said. "We will go to the Emerald City and ask the Great Oz how to get back to Kansas again."'

Swept away from her home in Kansas by a tornado, Dorothy and her dog Toto…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked The Wizard of Oz as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Perseverance and living in the moment, are probably the lessons to take away from The Wizard of Oz and enjoying the journey, wherever the road may lead and the fact that while having courage, a heart (empathy/ emotional intelligence/ kindness and gentleness) and a brain (intelligence), may be fine by themselves, it is when they work together that the magic happens and good things become real).

This book is the best book in helping you to discover that you never really have to go on an outward journey or to look to others for the answers to find what is inside you all along. They are always within.

However, it’s the characters and journey along the way that usually guide us to discover what those weaknesses and strengths are. It’s a story of friendship, adventure, hope, and home (and the answers) are ultimately where the heart is. I love stories that give the readers hope; the rainbow is the symbolism of hope. There is a rainbow…

I love when an author weaves social issues into the plot and character. Baum wrote an extensive political allegory in the guise of children’s literature. You have to know a little about the controversies of the time he wrote the story, especially backing paper currency with precious metals. Gold (yellow brick road), silver (Dorothy’s slippers are silver in the book), and greenbacks (the Emerald City is a metaphor for Washington, D.C.) are all in the story and reflect Baum’s views about the illusory value of paper money. More importantly, he is commentating upon power and wealth and oppression in America.…

From Victor's list on the hero's journey.

The 1939 film starred Judy Garland, yet this book was the first of 14 Oz stories created by Baum. A brave heroine, dropped into a strange land by a swirling tornado, gathers together a bedraggled troupe of companions, a cowardly lion, a tin woodsman sans heart, and a scarecrow with brain fog. Together they confront bad and good witches, flying monkeys, singing dragoons, and sundry other antagonists in their journey to the “Emerald City”. There have been political & allegorical references to the yellow brick road and the “gold standard,” the populist movement, eastern industrialization, and scheming politicians.  In the…

I love Dorothy’s ‘whirlwind’ journey to the crazy land of Oz! The mental imagery is such fun. I love ‘road trip’ plots (and I count this as a road trip), and the whole adventure really fed my imagination. 

Besides the delicious surrealness of the story, I like how Dorothy accumulates friends along the yellow brick road. Each of these new friends has an imperfection that’s holding them back. What a great opportunity to demonstrate the power of friendship. When we act alone, our imperfections can overwhelm us and keep us from reaching our goals. But when we team up with…

“Green witch, red shoes” automatically comes to my mind with this title (courtesy of the popular 1939 musical). I am so grateful to acclaimed illustrator Lizbeth Zwerger — who *never* saw that film — for her fresh and captivating interpretation of this story. Baum’s original silver shoes are here and “Dainty China Country” is not forgotten. I still enjoy the “green witch, red shoes” version, but having an alternative perspective gives the source text even more depth.

From Kevin's list on seeing things differently.

I, like so many others, have loved the story of Dorothy's trip to Oz, plus the other Oz adventures. This is a classic that should be required reading for… well, everybody. The combination of fascinating characters, a magical world (not Kansas for sure), and a journey in search of something. In Dorothy's case, it's the way home. This is a classic theme that L. Frank Baum tells in such an engaging style, it is almost the archetype of the motif if you never heard of Odysseus. Even then, I find the Oz books more engaging and heartfelt than the mythical…

From Marva's list on combining magic with the mundane.

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