Classic Literature, Fantasy, Fiction

Book Review: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

Author: L. Frank Baum

Genre: Fantasy [Classic Literature]

About: In 1900, a moderately successful writer for children by the name of L. Frank Baum set out to write a new type of “wonder tale” in which (in his words) “the stereotyped genie, dwarf, and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and bloodcurdling incident devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale.” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the outcome of this and it proved to be immensely popular. Its stage adaptation in 1903 (the book was released in 1900) was equally successful and convinced Baum to write a sequel, or what would become thirteen sequels.

Likes: This is a classic story that many have seen, but its plot actually goes much deeper than many people realize. Many base their opinions of this book off of the movie version, but the differences between the book and the movie are immense. The characters are vivid (personal favorite: the cowardly lion), and the plot is cut-and-dried. Baum uses colorful words to describe each scene, creating the most gorgeous and amazing imaginative world ever. Also, this book teaches readers, both young and old, that obstacles can be overcome, despite our own shortcomings.

Dislikes: This book teaches the readers that we have all that we need already inside of us; we just have to find it. While this can be true, it is important to remember that as Christians, we are where we are because of God, and not because there we found our brains, courage, or heart. Also, this book seems geared more toward children, which is absolutely fine. However, it is a good deal more violent than any younger reader should experience without parental consent. Don’t naturally assume that it is a kid’s book.

Summary: Dorothy and her small dog Toto are swept away in a tornado to a whimsical land called Oz. Once there, Dorothy searches for a way to get back to Kansas; her home. She is pointed toward the Emerald City, where the great and powerful Wizard of Oz may be able to help her. On her way to the Emerald City, Dorothy meets three friends who also desire a bit of the great wizard’s magic. However, the wizard desires the five travelers to pay an outlandish price in order to get what they want. The heroes then set out to accomplish the task given to them by the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.

Book Length: 122 pages (Fall River Press Edition)

Favorite Character: Dorothy

Suggested Age: 11+

If you like this, check out: The Marvelous Land of Oz (L. Frank Baum) and Ozma of Oz (L. Frank Baum)

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