The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
, by L. Frank Baum
, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics
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Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion—they’re now as beloved a part of American folklore as Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan. Since its first publication in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s story of a little girl carried away by a tornado to the strange and beautiful Land of Oz has had an extraordinary emotional impact on wide-eyed readers young and old.
As Dorothy journeys down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, hoping the Great and Terrible Wizard who lives there will help her return home, she shares adventures with the famous trio of characters, defeats a wicked witch, and learns about the power of friendship, loyalty, and self-confidence. While scholars have debated for decades over possible political meanings hidden within the tale, Baum himself claimed he simply wanted to write a “modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.” As it has done for generations past, this classic of fantasy adventure speaks movingly about what every child needs: the Woodman’s compassion, the Lion’s courage, and the Scarecrow’s wisdom.
With original illustrations by William Wallace Denslow.
J. T. Barbarese teaches at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey, where he is a member of the Rutgers Center for Children and Childhood Studies. He is the author of four books of poetry and a translation of Euripides.