Ok, I'm going with the assumption that if you haven't been shut in a closet your entire life that you know the basic premise of this story. Young girl gets flown to a magical land called Oz via a tornado and spends the rest of the book trying to get back home. On the way she makes new friends: Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. The Wizard of Oz promises to help her if she brings back the silver cap of the Wicked Witch of the East. She does, he doesn't, she finds out she has had the power to go home the whole time.
So it's a fairly simple tale but the magic is in the world building. The characters aren't particularly deep or complex and you don't see an extraordinary amount of character growth or development. Dorothy is a sweet, simple girl and just happens to have an incredible amount of luck on her side to survive everything that happens to her. The other characters are similarly simple with the only exception being the total contradictory nature of the Tin Woodman who is terrified of stepping on an ant but has no problem using his ax to chop down beasts that he feels may be dangerous before finding out if they actually are. I was reading this to my 10yr old and this hypocritical actions really mad an impact on him. Every time it came up, he commented on it and was upset. Not because of the violence of it but because it wasn't f-a-i-r! It led to some good discussions and he enjoyed the world enough that we have started book 2 so we shall see where this goes.
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