Friday, February 15, 2013

Reading: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz is a film I grew up with and one of my favorites as a child and today.  Every time I went to my grandparents house in the Poconos I would always rent this film from the library and there are even home videos of me singing the songs.  I finally read the book in 4th grade and I remember reading it in my downstairs laying on the floor with my feet propped up on a chair.  Unfortunately, I didn't really retain much of the book after I read it and as the years passed, I made it a point to reread the book one day.  Well, this 50 book challenge gave me that opportunity.
I don't think it is necessary for me to explain the plot since mostly everyone has seen the movie.  Though I have to start off by saying I will always love the movie better than the book.  It is just one of those special moments when a movie is better than the book in my opinion.  My copy of the book, Aladdin publishers (I believe?), has some information in the back of the book about the history of the book.  The Wizard of Oz is known as the first real American Fairytale.  While Fairytales are most often seen as morality tales, L. Frank Baum believed that these types of stories only scar children into good behavior which can sometimes be true.  Baum decided to present his book through the eyes of a child instead of an adult and goes to prove that children can solve their own problems.  The story, however, does have a morality tale to it despite what Baum wants to believe.  It emphasizes the idea that there is no place like home, something that kids have to constantly to be reminded of.  One of my favorite lines from the film is, “If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
I must say, this book definitely kept me interested.  I started and finished it while I was on a cruise with my family.  It was a bittersweet read.  It's lighthearted-ness combined with my high expectations from my love for the film balanced each other out.  Overall, it was a nice tale about a girl trying to get home.  The book had humor and great characters and lots of neat adventures that weren't included on the big screen.  It's definitely a winner for kids everywhere!  I am going to give the book 3 out of 5 stars.  Yes I enjoyed it but my love for the film kept me from enjoying it more.  That is not the author's problem though but a reader problem on my part.

No comments:

Post a Comment