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 something off my chest right away, something what goes against the popular opinion: I think the book is better than the classic movie. Judy Garland was great, sure. Some of the songs were equally great, sure. I insist the book is still better (I wonder how many of my friends would de-friend me for saying so. If you do, I understand: no hard feelings).
I read the novel quite a few times starting all the way back when I was a child. I still enjoyed it during my latest reread and I found some things I missed during my childhood, like the following passage:
So she told him all about Kansas, and how gray everything was there, and how the cyclone had carried her to this queer land of Oz. The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said,
"I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas."
"That is because you have no brains," answered the girl. "No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."
The Scarecrow sighed.
"Of course I cannot understand it," he said. "If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains."
It is fortunate for Kansas indeed - no offence to all the wonderful people who live there.
From the book's introduction I understand that Baum decided to write a children book purely for entertainment and not as a morality tale which was the case with the majority of children literature at the time. He created a timeless classic whose influence can be seen in a lot places - sometimes very much unexpected like here:
My personal rating would be 4 stars, but I cannot help raising it by one for its classic status and huge influence, so 5 stars it is.