Monday, June 23, 2014

3rd - A Book You Love

Well, it's Day Three of the 30 Day Blog Challenge! Look, just get used to the exclamation points, okay? Today's topic is A Book I Love...

Anyone familiar with my blog is (probably) aware that my favorite book of all time is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I'm sure I've written about this book a number of times. Recently. I know it was a big part of my 2,000th blog post giveaway. But have I ever actually written about what I love about the book?

Now that I sit here to write something, I'm having a hard time coming up with the words. It's a fun story. It's a truly American fairy tale. I'm sure I'm wrong, but I kind of feel like it's unique in that regard. Are there any other fairy tales that originate in the New World?

Odds are, even if you've never read the book, you know the story. But, you have to be aware, the book has a lot of differences from the movie that most people are familiar with. In the film, you've got a girl who decides her best option when facing a difficult situation is to run away from home. Sure, she comes to regret it, but her journey throughout the movie is a discovery of how important her home really was.

The book is slightly different. Dorothy wasn't trying to run away from home when she got swept away to Oz. She was just trying to make sure Toto made it into the storm cellar. Then the house got carried away. In the book, Dorothy is decidedly more courageous and determined than Judy Garland's portrayal. Dorothy wants to get back to Kansas and will do anything to get there. The literary Dorothy faces a lot more obstacles than the film version and comes out stronger in the end.

Before Joss Whedon gave us Buffy Summers or Suzanne Collins gave us Katniss Everdeen, L. Frank Baum gave us Dorothy Gale. She's a sweet and innocent little girl who, under the surface, isn't content to play the victim. Pretty awesome for a character created at the turn of the 20th century.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. If you haven't read Baum's original novel, do yourself a favor and pick it up. And if you get a chance, read the other 12 Oz books that he wrote. Some of them get extremely weird, but they're interesting nonetheless.

Also... I was asked by my pastor, Jeff Noble, to write a guest post for his blog this week. Go check it out, then stick around to see some of the posts he's written. It's good stuff, I promise.

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