I suddenly felt an intense thirst for reading children’s classics. I thought I wouldn’t be an authentic book addict if I didn’t read the classics. I started with Alice in the Wonderland. Honestly, it didn’t meet my expectations. May be I didn’t just have the right set of mind for it. In two minds, I moved to my next choice and what a choice! The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum. I have no words to describe what I felt while reading the book. It was like a blessing. Don’t think I am exaggerating here. Seriously. This book was so full of positivity and motivation, and there was so much to learn from it. It’s completely wrong to categorize this as children’s classics. It’s for adults too. I am so happy for having picked this book. I think this would definitely be the Best book I have read this year.
Frank Baum wrote this book in 1900. At a time when there were no American stories for children, Baum came up with this amazing classic, The Wizard of Oz. Of course, he never thought it would go on to make such a magnificent mark in the minds of the readers. The Wizard of Oz made such a great name that the author came out with many more sequels, fourteen, according to internet resources. Reading all the books in this series is definitely one of my goals for the next year.
The story. Dorothy lives with her aunt and uncle in the city of Kansas. A cyclone takes her and her pet dog Toto to a magical world, The Land of the Munchkins. Apparently Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch of the land and the citizens are so grateful to her. Desperately wanting to return home, Dorothy gets to know that the Great Oz of the Emerald City would be the right person to help her. Dorothy, along with her dog, begins her journey. On the way, she meets her wonderful comrades, The Scarecrow who wants a Brain, The Tin Woodman who wants a Heart, and The Cowardly Lion who wants courage. The incidents Dorothy meets each of them have such a good feel to it. It’s hard to express. This party of 5 reach the Emerald City and meet the Oz. The Oz promises to help them, to give them what they need, only if they kill the Wicked Witch of the East. The party, after meeting several very interesting characters on course, achieve their goal at the end. But does the Great and the Terrible Oz, keep his promise? Does Dorothy finally get back to her family at Kansas? Or is she destined to live in this magical world?
The author has brilliantly carved the entire journey of Dorothy and her friends. The sense of loss and helplessness of the characters reach out to us. The beautiful part of this beautiful story is putting across the fact that, each one of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. It’s all about having faith in ourselves. Baum also cleverly makes the readers understand the importance of working as a team. One’s weakness could be another’s strength and vice versa. The Scarecrow might lack the brain but the Tin Woodman possesses it. The same goes to the rest of the characters. Each character fulfills the others’ weakness, or what they believe is their weakness. The author also displays through his story how it’s all in our mind. If we believe we can achieve something, we definitely can. Wonderful! Apart from this, the entire magical world is so enchantingly put in words that we, as readers, ease into the virtual world effortlessly. I just didn’t want the book to end.
My only slight little disappointment would be the character of Oz itself. Somewhere, since the title says The Wizard of Oz, I expected a more majestic character than what was shown in the book. Perhaps, I interpreted the character differently.
As my rating suggests, this book has to be read by all- children and adults. I had watched only cartoons of this story during my childhood. But books are books. Nothing can beat reading. I am so glad that I have read this inspiring classic now. Highly recommended.