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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

(Oz #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  368,828 ratings  ·  12,706 reviews
When Dorothy and her little dog Toto are caught in a tornado, they and their Kansas farmhouse are suddenly transported to Oz, where Munchkins live, monkeys fly and Wicked Witches rule. Desperate to return home, and with the Wicked Witch of the West on their trail, Dorothy and Toto - together with new friends the Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow and cowardly Lion - embark on a fanta ...more
Paperback, Penguin Popular Classics, 154 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin (first published May 17th 1900)
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Ozfan95 Ignore all those people that say that the movie is better. They don't know how good this book actually is. The book is WAY better than the movie! Here…moreIgnore all those people that say that the movie is better. They don't know how good this book actually is. The book is WAY better than the movie! Here's why:

First of all, Dorothy is a whiny, teenaged, damsel in distress in the movie. In the book, she is a brave ten year old. She fights through the story to defend her friends and even save the Land of Oz itself.

Second of all, the two good witches are combined into one character in the movie, which makes the character into a big jerk that could have told Dorothy how to get home right at the beginning.

Thirdly, the book doesn't have a subplot at the beginning that never gets resolved, like the movie does.

Fourth, the characters are a lot more interesting than their movie counterparts.

The only advantage the movie has over the book is that it has a bigger antagonist. But the book is still better.

Yes, the book may be darker than the movie, but what's wrong with that? From my experience, kids like violence in stories.

Skip the movie, read the book!(less)
Claire I just finished reading it aloud to my 4 children, ages 11, 8, 5, and 3. We all loved it differently, but equally. There's certainly a reason it is co…moreI just finished reading it aloud to my 4 children, ages 11, 8, 5, and 3. We all loved it differently, but equally. There's certainly a reason it is considered a classic and it does not disappoint on any level.(less)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Ah such fun! I don't think I'll read the rest of the series but I did really enjoy this.
Luca Ambrosino
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ENGLISH (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) / ITALIANO

Dorothy is a young girl who lives with her aunts in a small farm in Kansas. Due to a tornado, she is catapulted with her house in a freaky village...

Dorothy's journey, which I discovered at 38 thanks to my daughter and to the well-established habit of reading something to her before going to bed, begins in this way. The thing that impressed me most about this wonderful story is that the title "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is rather misleading. Yes,

Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time there lived a Golden Age gay icon, who whiled away her pre-waxing years sitting atop a split-rail fence in some dour, nondescript American Midwest landscape. Her dreams of a more outrageously fierce existence in the big city (wearing roller skates and one-foot-diameter afro wigs and dancing to Army of Lovers in between lines of blow) were hemmed in on all sides by rusted farm equipment, NAPA Auto Parts Stores, and a lone, dejected Applebee’s out on the turnpike. Kansas didn’t ev ...more
Riku Sayuj
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: r-r-rs, classics

The Wizard of Oz as An Economic Parable: A Short Introduction

This might be common knowledge or it might not be. Some economics textbooks claim this is a wonderfully esoteric nugget: The story of Oz was an economic parable. Take that, all you who said economics can't be fun.

Redistributions of wealth caused by unexpected changes in the price level are often a source of political turmoil. From 1880 to 1896 the price level in the United States fell 23 percent. This deflation was good for Haves (cred
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Dorothy Gale and her little dog Toto are swept away by a tornado from Kansas all the way to the Land of Oz. With a little help from the Witch of the North, Dorothy and Toto set off down a road paved with yellow bricks in search of the City of Emeralds and the Wizard of Oz, a man said to have the power to help Dorothy find her way back to Kansas.

The cyclone had set the house down, very gently - for a cyclone
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 8-year-old decided she wanted to read this one, and we just finished buddy reading two different copies. The copy she’s reading is a new Scholastic version which is just a simple paperback with an adorable cover. I went ahead and picked up this 100th anniversary edition for our home library because it’s illustrated, large print, and hardcover which I love.

I’m sure most already know the story. The beginning opens with a cyclone that carries Dorothy in her house, along with her little dog T
JV (semi-hiatus)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a brief and magical adventure tale filled straightforward prose, predictable plot, and uninteresting protagonists with a penchant for morbidity, self-mutilation, and decapitation while whimsically traipsing along in a bizarre land chock-full of eldritch creatures.

Whirled by a cyclone, Dorothy, an innocent, harmless little girl, and Toto, her adorable dog, are whisked away in a peculiar land. From there, they tag along with eccentric beings and eventually meet the s
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 20/100 for 2015

I really, really liked this book! I honestly had pretty low expectations going into this book and thought it wouldn't compare at all to the greatness of the 1939 movie (which is one of my favorite movies), but I was wrong. It was one of the best children's classics that I've ever read and I even loved how it wasn't that similar to the movie, so it kept me interested. I also had a beautiful hardcover Puffin Classics edition, so that make the experience even better! All in all,
Henry Avila
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dorothy (from Kansas wherever that is) lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on the flat American prairie, the harsh Sun beating down from the gray sky making everything turn gray ... the gray grass, house, clothes and especially the people, animals are probably gray too might seem the least likely place that she visits that is real. No trees, brooks beautiful birds singing or anything colorful around the poor farm. But our adventures begin when a tornado lifts unlucky Dorothy , her dog Toto an ...more
Sean Barrs
This is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read.

The fantasy elements are all rather ordinary. There’s a secret world beyond that of our own; this is a standard trope of the genre. C.S Lewis would soon follow suit and inspire later generations. But the point is the Land of Oz is just weird.

Seems like a bland criticism, though the entire point of the plot is to have good triumph over evil. But what is evil? Beyond the actual name of the antagonist, the Wicked Witch of the West, we don’t act
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Some books are so well-known practically every person who has even a very brief knowledge of general literature knows that these books are about. In the light of this I really have no clue why I would bother to outline the plot of this one, but just in case somebody managed to miss it here goes. A little girl is transported into a magical land where she meets all kinds of magical creatures. She goes to visit the greatest wizard of the land hoping he would help her to get home.

I want to get some
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, kids
To Oz? To Oz! The film version of The Wizard of Oz is such an important part of American history that I most likely had it memorized by the time I was eight years old. Between the music, images changing from black and white to color, and the defeat of a wicked witch, the movie was simply magical. Being a tomboy, however, my reading interests as a child were never inclined toward classic books such as Little Women and, of course, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Having my interest piqued by the yearly ...more
Joe Valdez
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What is reader's block? Coined a day or two after Goodreads went online, it is sister to "writer's block," but afflicts would-be book readers who rather than being unable to focus on putting words on a page, struggle to read one. I've caught a case of reader's block for the first time, having abandoned three novels recently and really just being polite to the most recent, the children's classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I finished this one, published in 1900, which is like say ...more
This is a book I read as a child, even before I saw the musical, and enjoyed a lot. However, my memory of it was overshadowed by the film. So it was a good experience to read it again as an adult.

The book is worth reading, not least because it differs in some major ways from the film adaptation. The biggest difference is that the whole dream sequence scenario, in which people from Kansas are transmogrified into figures of fantasy, is entirely absent. Dorothy wears Silver Shoes, not Ruby Slippers
- Good morning HAL.


- I thought we would talk about film and literature.


- Excellent. Okay, let's start with something easy. Do you know why I call you HAL?


- Very good, HAL!


- Alright, let's move on to a harder topic. Do you have a favorite book?

- YES.

- And what is it, HAL?


- Do you think you understand it, HAL?

- DO Y
"There is no place like Oz!"

Most people are at some point facing the situation that something throws them off track. The reason might not be that a tornado catches your house and dumps it later in a strange land - on a wicked witch - but something quite similar in intensity might well happen to any of you. You will find yourselves lost, helpless, sad and without orientation in a strange place. What can you do? The first rule for Oz travellers is to stick together even if your worries and needs
Dec 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it interesting that in the foreword Baum says he didn't want this to be violent like the fairytales of the past... and yet, a little girl transports to a strange land, kills the first person she meets, and teams up with three strangers to kill again. They also kill various creatures on their path of destruction.
Perhaps we could savor all the violence but have a much more abridged version with the following:
Wizard of Oz, the short version

Leonard Gaya
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written at the turn of the 20th century, is probably one of the most iconic American fairy tales, just as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is one of the most famous children’s novels in English literature. Almost everyone — at least in the English-speaking world — knows about the adventures of Dorothy, the young farm girl from Kansas, in the magical land of Oz, and her sidekicks, the Scarecrow without a brain, the Tin Woodman without a heart and the Cowardly Lion who ...more
Jason Koivu
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A wonderful tale for its time, this book has transcended its own intentions and exploded into an iconic creation that continues to instill its fans with cherished, lifelong memories.


Although I usually prefer the original books over their movie adaptions, I have to hand it to the film this time. The Wizard of Oz took the best from the source material and embellished what was missing, adding what they needed to in order to create a truly magical experience that has endured to this day.


The book an
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪
“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible,"
spoke the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar.
Who are you, and why do you seek me?”

This book was one of my favourite childhood reads. I still own the book I used to read when I was a child, so I decided to read it again as an adult. My original plan was to read the whole series, and I may go through with it in the future. Anyway, I was so surprised when I opened the book and I realized that I still remembered the first chapter almost by heart! I must ha
This is one of those rare books where the movie is ACTUALLY BETTER than the book. I did read this years ago and I did enjoy it, but the movie tops it. Still all the magic is here at the beginning.
Gary Sundell
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a classic. If you think you know the story because you have seen the movie, you'd be wrong. The first of the 14 books written by Baum about Oz. Dorothy journeys to Oz in her home carried by twister over the great dessert surrounding the Land of Oz. The house was plopped down on top of the Wicked Witch of the East in the land of the Munchkins. There Dorothy is greated by the good witch of the North, not Glenda, she is featured at the end of the book and is the good witch of the South ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book!

My primary school library had a copy of The Wizard of Oz with full-colour illustrations, which I absolutely adored. It was lovely to revisit such a lovely story.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In fact, 4.5 stars. Indeed, I knew the story, but I don't remember reading this book as a child. Now that I've done the reading, I found the story quite interesting, fun, exciting, and action-packed. I just didn't like the last 2 chapters very much as I found the ending a bit abrupt.
Mohsin Maqbool
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
An innovative cover of Frank L. Baum's book.

MOST of us have read L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and have enjoyed it. Many of us have also seen the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" which has been adapted from the book. So I am not going to write a review of the book or provide you any details about Dorothy, her pet dog Toto or any of her friends -- The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion. I will just recount to you an incident from my schoolboy days which has great relevan
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?" pg. 92

What a charming little classic. If you are an adult, and have only seen the film, you are in for a treat IMO. This is really a fairy tale. A 'modern fairy tale' as Lyman Frank Baum would describe it. Only he called it "a wonder tale." Still holds up today, still fun to read to children today. Still has this sense of whimsy and humor that I think makes it a good choice to read to children, even though it was published i
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz = The Wizard of Oz (Oz #1), L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an American children's novel written by author L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow, originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900. It has since been reprinted on numerous occasions, most often under the title The Wizard of Oz, which is the title of the popular 1902 Broadway musical adaptation as well as the iconic 1939 musical film adaptation.
The story ch
April (Aprilius Maximus)
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


EDIT - this has definitely been growing on me the longer i think about it, so i've upped my rating!
this was... fine??? I th
May 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Parents
Recommended to Brad by: Gregory Maguire
My disappointment with the children's classics (with the exception of Pinocchio) has continued with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

It isn't bad. It really isn't, but it is not great either. It's nowhere near great. I wish I could say I was baffled by how this became the worldwide sensation it became, but that would be a lie. On stage and on film, The Wizard of Oz has become THE go-to kids entertainment of the last 80-odd years. It is so pervasive as to be a sort of children's propaganda entertainmen
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of THE classics in children's literature, telling the story of little Dorothy who, along with her little black dog Toto, gets swept up by a whirlwind and transported to a mysterious and magical land called Oz. There, after an unforeseen lucky coincidence gives her quite the advantage, she encounters a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion who are all three looking for something important. Thus, the four team up and travel to the famous ruler known as the wizard to get their wishes granted, which i ...more
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also wrote under the name Edith Van Dyne, Floyd Akers, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf, Laura Bancroft

Lyman Frank Baum was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, better known today as simply The Wizard of

Other books in the series

Oz (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz (Oz, #2)
  • Ozma of Oz (Oz, #3)
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (Oz, #4)
  • The Road to Oz (Oz, #5)
  • The Emerald City of Oz (Oz #6)
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Oz, #7)
  • Tik-Tok of Oz (Oz, #8)
  • The Scarecrow of Oz (Oz, #9)
  • Rinkitink in Oz (Oz, #10)
  • The Lost Princess of Oz (Oz, #11)

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