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The Royal Book of Oz - Unabridged Version - [University Of Chicago Press] - (Oz (Thompson and others) #15)

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"The Royal Book of Oz (1921) is the fifteenth in the series of Oz books, and the first to be written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after L. Frank Baum’s death. Although Baum was credited as the author, it was written entirely by Thompson. The Scarecrow is upset when Professor Wogglebug tells him that he has no family, so he goes to where Dorothy Gale found him to trace his “root "The Royal Book of Oz (1921) is the fifteenth in the series of Oz books, and the first to be written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after L. Frank Baum’s death. Although Baum was credited as the author, it was written entirely by Thompson. The Scarecrow is upset when Professor Wogglebug tells him that he has no family, so he goes to where Dorothy Gale found him to trace his “roots.” Then he vanishes from the face of Oz. Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion mount a search for their friend, but when that is successful, they will need to become a rescue party!"


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"The Royal Book of Oz (1921) is the fifteenth in the series of Oz books, and the first to be written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after L. Frank Baum’s death. Although Baum was credited as the author, it was written entirely by Thompson. The Scarecrow is upset when Professor Wogglebug tells him that he has no family, so he goes to where Dorothy Gale found him to trace his “root "The Royal Book of Oz (1921) is the fifteenth in the series of Oz books, and the first to be written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after L. Frank Baum’s death. Although Baum was credited as the author, it was written entirely by Thompson. The Scarecrow is upset when Professor Wogglebug tells him that he has no family, so he goes to where Dorothy Gale found him to trace his “roots.” Then he vanishes from the face of Oz. Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion mount a search for their friend, but when that is successful, they will need to become a rescue party!"

30 review for The Royal Book of Oz - Unabridged Version - [University Of Chicago Press] - (Oz (Thompson and others) #15)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    H.M. Wogglebug, T.E. had an idea of creating a genealogy tree for every significant Oz inhabitant. Scarecrow realized that he does not have any family tree whatsoever which made him visit his farm of origin. He ended up discovering he was a long-lost emperor of a distant country. Dorothy bothered by his long absence set off in search for her oldest Oz friend. The book is credited to L. Frank Baum but it does not take a genius to figure out he had very little, if any, input. The writing style and H.M. Wogglebug, T.E. had an idea of creating a genealogy tree for every significant Oz inhabitant. Scarecrow realized that he does not have any family tree whatsoever which made him visit his farm of origin. He ended up discovering he was a long-lost emperor of a distant country. Dorothy bothered by his long absence set off in search for her oldest Oz friend. The book is credited to L. Frank Baum but it does not take a genius to figure out he had very little, if any, input. The writing style and personalities of recurring characters are completely different. The changed personalities are not bad as they allow for some minor friction between regulars making their interactions more interesting. Now about the bad parts of the novel. In case somebody have not noticed the latest trend in winning any argument is to call you opponent racist regardless of the argument's nature and opponents view on races. Repeat the accusation until it sticks and you win. For this exact reason I am very careful not to throw around the word "racist" needlessly. This time I feel justified calling the novel laughably racist. The Silver Island where Scarecrow became an Emperor is made after Ancient China; written by a person who literally had no clue what she was writing about and using all kinds of stereotypes as an inspiration. I was willing to accept even this - keeping in mind the time the book was written - until I stumbled upon the description of a dinner. At this point I decided enough is enough and an accusation in racism is justified. The plot failed to excite me. Quite probably the reason for this was a contrast with Baum's writing. The novel was not completely hopeless, so I am willing to give it two stars. This is the last book of Oz available from Project Gutenberg and I feel this would be a very good time to stop reading the series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    This is the first Oz book I have read since I was a child. I wouldn't call myself a fan, but by the end I could see the appeal of these books. It was so happy and optimistic with such simple and yet magical adventures. And the Librivox narrator was simply amazing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Valentino

    I had recently re-read all the original Oz books with my son, and finally decided that I wanted to see what the non-Baum books were like. My son, on the other hand (he's 8) declared he only wanted to read the originals, so he declined! The book is not particularly good, although there are some creative things in it. In fact, that's the best part - when Thompson stops creating new things and tries to write like Baum, it doesn't come across so well. She always has the Patchwork Girl speak in rhyme, I had recently re-read all the original Oz books with my son, and finally decided that I wanted to see what the non-Baum books were like. My son, on the other hand (he's 8) declared he only wanted to read the originals, so he declined! The book is not particularly good, although there are some creative things in it. In fact, that's the best part - when Thompson stops creating new things and tries to write like Baum, it doesn't come across so well. She always has the Patchwork Girl speak in rhyme, for example. It reminds me of more recent Winnie the Pooh shows on TV, where each character has a speaking attribute and all lines fall into that formula. Also, a large part of the story takes place in pseudo-China. It's actually called the Silver Island, and they specifically say that China is elsewhere, but it seems like a poor parody. Granted, for what is essentially fan fiction that was published in 1921, it could have been a lot worse, but still, the book would have been better for me if the entire country had been made up instead of a bad stereotype. But there were some good things, like the sea serpents and Sir Hokus. I liked him in particular, because he had been in Oz, in slumber, since the Middle Ages. I thought that was the most creative part of the book, that Dorothy wasn't the first person to come there, not by centuries. Overall, though, a bit of a slog to get through. It's not the Oz books, but it's an Oz book at least. I may try the next in the series to see if they get any better as they go along, but if they're the same as this one I'll likely stick with the originals.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ronnie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was very reluctant to read the Ruth Plumly Thompson OZ books and it took me over 25 years to finally succumb to temptation. I read the Baum 14 once every 3-5 years just to take a vacation back to my happy place - and the idea that Baum died and HIS Oz ended has always left a sour taste in my mouth - but I get it, people die. I tried to ignore the rest of the canon ... until now. There is the theory that Baum had written a majority of THE ROYAL BOOK OF OZ before his death after naming Thompson I was very reluctant to read the Ruth Plumly Thompson OZ books and it took me over 25 years to finally succumb to temptation. I read the Baum 14 once every 3-5 years just to take a vacation back to my happy place - and the idea that Baum died and HIS Oz ended has always left a sour taste in my mouth - but I get it, people die. I tried to ignore the rest of the canon ... until now. There is the theory that Baum had written a majority of THE ROYAL BOOK OF OZ before his death after naming Thompson as his successor (aka The Royal Historian of Oz). I read the book desperately hoping to feel his touch on this, the 15th story set in Oz. I did not feel Baum anywhere in this. IF he had written some of this - it was very raw and very sparse and Thompson came in and truly finished the work. I say this because of one giant plot hole that I could not get past - and I do not believe Baum would have made this error: The entire book begins with the Wogglebug creating a Royal Genealogy of everyone who lives in Oz - which triggers the Scarecrow to go off looking for his family. The Scarecrow has no family. Over the course of the first 14 books - we are reminded (at least three times) of where the Scarecrow came from - he was made by a Munchkin farmer and only became sentient when his eyes/ears/mouth were painted on ... he isn't descended from anyone ... but he goes in search of his family anyway. If you ignore this continuity error - the book is pretty cute. The Scarecrow decides that his "family tree" is simply the pole that Dorothy rescued him from in Book 1. Oddly enough, when he returns to the spot and (for some reason) launches himself back onto the pole - the earth opens up and he slides and slides and slides, down down down, into the earth beneath Oz. This takes him to The Silver Island (?) where he is informed that YES he has a family and YES he is the long lost Emperor. They give Scarecrow the Magic Fan, he opens it, fans himself and goes sailing across the island. It's a super fan, basically. It scares him because he's so light, so he tucks it into his vest pocket to be forgotten about until the last chapter. Then, he is introduced to his three sons (the princes) and his fifteen grandsons. Oh yeah, everyone on The Silver Island is really pretty racist by today's standards. More about that later ... PLOT B: Dorothy and The Cowardly Lion leave The Emerald City to go have a casual visit with the Scarecrow (thus realizing he's missing, thus embarking on a journey to find him...). Once on the road - they encounter the first major new character a la Thompson; Sir Hokus of Pokes, the Knight Errant. He's the comedic relief, the Don Quixote, the dingbat in search of a dragon (there are no dragons in Oz, everyone knows that). Either way, this "road trip" introduces us to new "towns" in Oz. We visit Fix City, where all the people don't move but the furniture, food, trees, etc. fly around as ordered - they believe it spares them from becoming tired and gives them longer lives. They encounter a 40 foot Giant who's made completely out of candy (?) and then somehow wind up on "Wish Way," a road that leads through the Winkie Country. Once there, they meet The Comfortable and The Doubtful Dromedaries (these two claim to have come out of The Deadly Desert and also sling a good deal of gentle racism toward Middle Easterners - they both lament the loss of their Karwan Bashi, they both have literally EVERYTHING the group needs in their saddlebags - including figs, tents, pillows and a half-dozen things no camel should ever have on it). There's a comic misadventure as each of the group accidentally wishes for things and transform into a dozen different creatures. Thank goodness Dorothy keeps her head and screams "I wish we could all be with the Scarecrow again," and *poof* we enter Plot A. While all that is happening, in Plot A on The Silver Island (which is somehow inside the earth and somehow also an island ... no beach is ever seen, no edges - so idk). After the really stereotypical Asian characters declare the Scarecrow their long lost Emperor (which they call the Great Chew Chew) named, "Chang Wang Woe (I'm not kidding)" the people of The Silver Island declare his current incarnation, that of a Scarecrow, to be unpleasing to the eye - so they prepare to restrain him and transform him with magic. Magic which will prevent him from ever returning or remembering his life in Oz. Thank goodness a little street urchin named Tappy Oko bonds with Scarecrow and attempts to sneak him out of The Silver Island - but that backfires and they're both thrown into a dank, dark pit. Oh, right - Tappy's last name IS Pudding, btw. Other Silver Islanders of note are - Princess Orange Blossom and General Mugwump. Once Dorothy's wish dumps her troupe into the cell with Scarecrow and Tappy - we sail toward another happy ending. They decide the best way out is to climb the bean pole - but The Cowardly Lion can't climb a pole and Sir Hokus is too heavy with all his armor - so they decide on a different tactic ... just as the royal army of the islanders appear to coronate the Scarecrow and begin his transformation (brainwashing) ceremony. A lot of weird, random stuff happens (even Thompson writes that she's not even sure what's going on) - but basically Scarecrow gives the fan to Dorothy, who shoots high into the air and closes her parasol (which no one knew she had?) and as she fell, Sir Hokus thinks she's a dragon and leaps to attack her - knocking over a silver vase filled with magic elixir which changes the three princes and General Mugwump into pigs; conveniently. The group proclaims Tappy Oko the new Emperor of The Silver Island and they head back to Oz using the fan/parasol combo. Attaching a rope for each member of the party, Dorothy fans them back up along the course of the bean pole until *poof* they pop out of the ground, in the cornfield in Munchkin country, back in Oz. Bim Bam Boom - they're back in the Emerald City and Ozma gives everyone sanctuary and happiness, as per usual. The plot of this book was all over the place. It seemed like someone had a pretty decent adventure, chopped it up and stitched it back together - all crooked. The entire time, I kept overlooking things that would have bothered me, had Baum done it. But he'd never have made a book like this. So, I allow one pass for Thompson for diving into this world and trying to do the best she could. It's fair. Not great, not good, not terrible ... just fair. ...and in no way deters me from continuing...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cortney

    This book, in most forms, is credited to L. Frank Baum, but The Royal Book of Oz was written by Thompson after Baum's death. But even without having been told this, nothing could have been more obvious than Baum's absence upon reading the book. If the writing style alone hadn't been a dead giveaway, then the characters having gone through complete personality changes probably would have done the trick. Ozma as cross? Dorothy as annoyed? The Wogglebug as rude and haughty? Though there were hints This book, in most forms, is credited to L. Frank Baum, but The Royal Book of Oz was written by Thompson after Baum's death. But even without having been told this, nothing could have been more obvious than Baum's absence upon reading the book. If the writing style alone hadn't been a dead giveaway, then the characters having gone through complete personality changes probably would have done the trick. Ozma as cross? Dorothy as annoyed? The Wogglebug as rude and haughty? Though there were hints of their former selves, these were not the characters that we'd come to know and love, a change that was the biggest disappointment. And this was not the smooth and enchanting writing style to which we had become accustomed, either. Though Thompson does include some witty remarks and word play that will be enjoyable to older readers, some of her sentence formation—especially around the speaking of characters—is on the complex side for younger readers to follow. This is a far cry from Baum who, though writing at the turn of the century and with a style that reflected it, was still accessible for the younger set. And you might be tempted to wonder if the book would have been better were I treating it as its own thing, but first, she didn't write it as its own thing—she even published it under Baum's name—and second, her style is choppy even when held up entirely on its own. This book was a huge disappointment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    The Royal Book of Oz is disappointing, and it's probably lucky that I originally read Kabumpo in Oz first, as I'm not sure I'd have bothered with more Thompson after Royal Book. While looking for his ancestors, the Scarecrow slides down to Silver Island, where he's acclaimed as Emperor; when Dorothy discovers that he's missing, she and the Cowardly Lion go looking for him. Thompson does introduce several new and interesting characters -- Sir Hokus of Pokes, the Doubtful Dromedary, and the Comfor The Royal Book of Oz is disappointing, and it's probably lucky that I originally read Kabumpo in Oz first, as I'm not sure I'd have bothered with more Thompson after Royal Book. While looking for his ancestors, the Scarecrow slides down to Silver Island, where he's acclaimed as Emperor; when Dorothy discovers that he's missing, she and the Cowardly Lion go looking for him. Thompson does introduce several new and interesting characters -- Sir Hokus of Pokes, the Doubtful Dromedary, and the Comfortable Camel -- but I never felt as though she had a good handle on many of Baum's characters (particularly Dorothy), although she does develop the Cowardly Lion more than Baum had. Unfortunately, her effort to introduce new places goes awry; Silver Island, on the other side of the world from Oz, abounds with offensive racial stereotyping of Asian culture and customs. Perhaps it's just a product of its time, but that doesn't make it any more attractive to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Manu Corta

    Es bueno, de hecho me gustó la frescura que Ruth le trajo a la saga, aunque de pronto escribe algo precipitado, lo que lo hace un poco confuso, sentí mucho más fuerte esta historia y a los personajes, que el 80% de los libros de Baum. Es posible que los libros que escribió esta mujer sean mucho mejores que los de Baum, pero habrá que leerlos para saberlo. Por lo pronto, aunque algo extraño, esta mujer comenzó con el pie derecho.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rick Brose

    As a huge fan of the original Oz series, I have always wanted to read these follow ups. Unfortunately, the first of Thompson's books fails to live up to the standards of Baum. The story starts out slow, and if not outright racist, it definitely feels like it walks the line. There are great moments in it however, and I like that it attempts to expand the wonderful world of Oz. I am hoping that Thompson improves over the course of the series. This was just a rougher start then I would have liked.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Flower Ali

    interesting book

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Ricker

    Widely thought to be at least partially written by Baum until the 1980s, Thompson's take on Oz just can't hold a candle to the original 14 stories. The pace is frenetic and the story implausible to a degree that even Baum would find dizzying. The characters were punsters almost completely unlike the versions of themselves in earlier books. Disappointing, overall.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oz is probably my favorite fantasy universe of all time, which is really saying quite a lot, given the other wonderful worlds out there. The original 14 Oz books by L. Frank Baum are absolute treasures, and for years, I've held off on reading the additional Oz books by Ruth Plumly Thompson for fear of ruining the wonderful world of the originals. But I recently stumbled across a copy of The Royal Book of Oz in a used book store and decided to give it a try. In this novel, we follow the adventures Oz is probably my favorite fantasy universe of all time, which is really saying quite a lot, given the other wonderful worlds out there. The original 14 Oz books by L. Frank Baum are absolute treasures, and for years, I've held off on reading the additional Oz books by Ruth Plumly Thompson for fear of ruining the wonderful world of the originals. But I recently stumbled across a copy of The Royal Book of Oz in a used book store and decided to give it a try. In this novel, we follow the adventures of the Scarecrow as he goes searching for his roots and ends up stumbling upon a more illustrious family lineage than anyone could have imagined in a mysterious place called the Silver Island. His friends Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion grow worried at his absence and begin searching for him, only to end up in adventures of their own. They make some memorable new friends, including Sir Hokus, the Doubtful Dromedary, and Comfortable Camel. Right off the bat, I have to say that it's very obvious that this book was not written by L. Frank Baum. I don't know how anybody could have thought that, even though it was originally published under his name. Thompson's writing style is totally different, and much less engaging, in my humble opinion. I can't really describe the tone very well--something about the writing style makes it seem much more childish, and yet, the humor is more mature in places. Thompson relies more on word play than Baum, for example. And her take on some of our beloved Oz characters is also a bit different. There just isn't the same charm or sparkle about them, and they seem to be a bit churlish or caricatured at times. The most dubious thing about the novel was Silver Island, which is pretty obviously based on what American's thought of China in the early 1920s. Given the time period in the book, I will just gloss over the somewhat distasteful racial stereotypes, but I will say that I believe that Thompson would have been much better off just creating a truly new fantasy land instead of falling back on a stylized version of Asia. That was one thing that Baum was really great at--in every novel, he would take us to brand new lands, and each one felt entirely new and magical and wonderful. Although he may have drawn inspiration from the real world, I always felt that his creativity kept things from feeling stale or caricatured. That's part of the reason that the original 14 Oz books have aged so well, despite the fact that they were written a century ago. Thompson relied too much on the real world, and consequently, Silver Island hasn't survived the test of time nearly as well. I would only really recommend this book to hardcore Oz fans with completist tendencies. It really isn't very good as a standalone piece of work. I wouldn't recommend this to readers unfamiliar with Oz because I think that it will turn them off to the rest of the books, which are truly great. I'm not sure if I will be able to press on with the series. I hear that some of the other installments are better, but this first one doesn't leave me particularly optimistic.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shoshana

    There are a lot of things I liked in this book. I like Ruth Plumly Thompson's voice. It is clearly inspired by but different from Baum's. It actually reads a hair more sophisticated, I think; she doesn't use the word "droll" so often, for example. It's interesting that Baum left notes for this one and Thompson wrote it; maybe that's why despite Thompson's voice it feels more like a Baum storyline than a Thompson one (if I'm remembering her other books correctly - and from the beginning of Kabumpo There are a lot of things I liked in this book. I like Ruth Plumly Thompson's voice. It is clearly inspired by but different from Baum's. It actually reads a hair more sophisticated, I think; she doesn't use the word "droll" so often, for example. It's interesting that Baum left notes for this one and Thompson wrote it; maybe that's why despite Thompson's voice it feels more like a Baum storyline than a Thompson one (if I'm remembering her other books correctly - and from the beginning of Kabumpo in Oz, which I've started already). I like that there's a dual plotline going on - the Scarecrow looking for his family tree and Dorothy and the Lion looking for the Scarecrow and getting lost a bunch in typical wander-around-Oz-and-discover-droll-people fashion. I like a lot of the people: I like Sir Hokus and I like the Pokes; I like the Fixes; I like the A-B-Sea Serpent and Rattles; I especially like the Comfortable Camel and the Doubtful Dromedary. I like Wish Way. I really like the reference to "You are old, Father William." I like the part where the princess says, "All men are Scarecrows!" This book was headed for four stars from me. Unfortunately, I had to subtract three stars for EGREGIOUS RACISM. The Scarecrow falls down the beanpole that is his family tree, and lands on Silver Island, where he is hailed as containing the spirit of their old lost emperor. Here is the first thing we read about the people of Silver Isle: "They looked exactly like the pictures of some Chinamen [the Scarecrow] had seen in one of Dorothy's picture books back in Oz, but instead of being yellow, their skin was a crious gray, and the hair of old and young alike was silver and worn in long, stiff queues.... 'Welcome home, immortal and illustrious Ancestor! Welcome, ancient and serene Father!' cried the others, banging their heads hard on the floor - so hard their queues flew in the air." OH GOD. It only gets worse from there. We hear about their rigid political strictures, their difficult-to-walk-in-kimonos, their ludicrous names (Chew Chew, for example), and their food ("as the Silver Islanders at much the same fare as their Chinese cousins, you can imagine the poor Scarecrow's feelings"). The Scarecrow makes up his mind to call one of them by a mixed up version of his name because he thinks it suits him better. COME THE EFF ON. I don't know if this is coming from Baum or Thompson, given the collaborative nature of the book. And I understand that it was published in 1921. And in fact, when it gets to actually describing the general characters of the Silver Islanders, they are more or less like all the other people we've met in the Oz books - a mixture of stupid and clever, some loyal, some conniving, most cowardly. It's clear that even Baum and Thompson know that underneath all their "exotic" traits Silver Islanders are human. But I still can't handle it, and it's too bad, but I still can't give this book more than one star. Sorry.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tommy

    This is the first Oz book written after L. Frank Baum's death. Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote this 15th installment in one of my favorite children's fantasy series. I have copies of many of her Oz books (she wrote something like 19), but this is the first one I've actually read. I have a hard time accepting any Oz stories not written by Baum. I had the impression that Thompson's books were driven by cheap puns and cheesy "new" Oz characters. But I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed this book, and This is the first Oz book written after L. Frank Baum's death. Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote this 15th installment in one of my favorite children's fantasy series. I have copies of many of her Oz books (she wrote something like 19), but this is the first one I've actually read. I have a hard time accepting any Oz stories not written by Baum. I had the impression that Thompson's books were driven by cheap puns and cheesy "new" Oz characters. But I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed this book, and her writing is much better and more nuanced than I thought. Her sense of humor is a little snarky at times, which makes it seem kind of clever and timeless. It helps that Baum's long-time illustrator, John R. Neill, illustrated Thompson's books as well, to help keep a sense of continuity within the series. This book is about the Scarecrow's search to find his "family tree," and how Dorothy and the cowardly Lion go searching for the Scarecrow after he disappears far under the earth. I enjoyed the first couple of chapters, got very tired of the Scarecrow's stay with the "Silvermen" in the middle of the book, and then enjoyed the last couple of chapters. I liked Thompson’s creepy “Mud Men,” and the weird little A-B-Sea Serpent. Sir Hokus was an okay original character, but I’m not sure what I think of the “Doubtful Dromedary” and the “Comfortable Camel.” The Camel was kind of funny, but that Dromedary was gettin’ on my nerves with all the “I doubt this” and, “I doubt that.” We GET it already. Your name is the Doubtful Dromedary. The worst part about this book is the cringe-inducing characterization of the "Silvermen" as being obviously Asian, with exaggeratedly slanted eyes, long braided ponytails, fans, and parasols. By today's standards it seems politically incorrect and just goofy. Neill's illustrations of the Asian characters are pretty... crude. When I saw the first one I actually gasped and said aloud, "You've gotta be kidding me." Thompson's side story with Dorothy and the Lion was a little more enjoyable. I found it clever that when Dorothy uses a magical parasol to help her friends escape from the "Silvermen," she is accused of "parasault & battery." Another bonus for me is that Dorothy quotes the poem "You Are Old, Father William," from "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland." It's appropriate to the plot for several reasons. I might read more of Thompson’s Oz books, as long as they don’t feature the Silver Islanders again!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This was definitely an interesting read to see how Ruth Plumly Thompson would take over the Oz series from Baum. I still cannot see how you can get the whole Oz series from Baum for free in Kindle while her books (with the exception of two I found) have to be paid for but that is the worl of business. Anyway there is definitely a different tone between Baum and Thompson, which in a way is a refresher. Out of the two I would have to say that Thompson's books are more for the adult crowd (or thos This was definitely an interesting read to see how Ruth Plumly Thompson would take over the Oz series from Baum. I still cannot see how you can get the whole Oz series from Baum for free in Kindle while her books (with the exception of two I found) have to be paid for but that is the worl of business. Anyway there is definitely a different tone between Baum and Thompson, which in a way is a refresher. Out of the two I would have to say that Thompson's books are more for the adult crowd (or those who may read the series) while Baum was clearly and always written for the children. The book started off as very refreshing but towards the ends it actually ended up lagging and somewhat flattened at the end. The author took a chance of opening up the main characters that we were raised upon and giving them a bit more of a life, more flesh if you will, into their previous lives. No longer are the characters of Baum 2-D or a bit devoid of anything that is repetitious so a result I can see where some people are angry with the change of character personalities when in my opinion it is more or less a maturing of the characters. The whole idea that there were two sets of adventures going on made this book an overkill and it would have been a bunch easy to focus upon if we could have stuck with the main adventures then slightly dipped back into the other part of the story. The emotional overtones of the book I find bothersome though since Baum ended his last book where Ozma and Glinda both worried about Dorothy having adventures. And in this one she is clearly on an adventure while no one seems to know that she is for they just shrug it off as thinking that she is without actually checking up on the missing persons even if it was days later - seems incongruous to me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Therese

    $0.0 When Professor Woggle Bug decides that Oz needs to have a royal book of everything that has happened, including all the people and their ancestors are, the Scarecrow is saddened because he has no family and goes in search of them. Little does he know that he was not descended from his ancestors, but in reality has ascended from them and in actuality is the Emperor of the Silver Islands. However Dorothy is troubled when she can't find her dear friend, the Scarecrow, and so she and the Cowardly $0.0 When Professor Woggle Bug decides that Oz needs to have a royal book of everything that has happened, including all the people and their ancestors are, the Scarecrow is saddened because he has no family and goes in search of them. Little does he know that he was not descended from his ancestors, but in reality has ascended from them and in actuality is the Emperor of the Silver Islands. However Dorothy is troubled when she can't find her dear friend, the Scarecrow, and so she and the Cowardly Lion set off to find him and are in for an adventure of their own that will take them to parts of Oz they have never seen or heard of. At the beginning of the Oz books, L. Frank Baum always has a note for his readers, the children, but in this book, we are told that he is no longer with us. However since he has left many notes among his papers, his wife tells us that Ruth Plumley Thompson will tell the story with blessings from the family (it is not quite the same, though IMO). As always when I have read an Oz book, I think it would make a great movie, even if it were animated. These would have made wonderful movies, and I think it is a shame that it was never done.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    It is important to note at the beginning of this review that I am reading all the Oz books in order. This just means that I have 14 books worth of one writing style in mind heading into this one. Ruth Plumly Thomson's writing style is definitely different from Baums, for better or worst I'm not sure yet. This plot of this book was much better developed then previous Oz books have been and the story didn't seem to end as abruptly and as easily as before. On the other hand I think this book was mi It is important to note at the beginning of this review that I am reading all the Oz books in order. This just means that I have 14 books worth of one writing style in mind heading into this one. Ruth Plumly Thomson's writing style is definitely different from Baums, for better or worst I'm not sure yet. This plot of this book was much better developed then previous Oz books have been and the story didn't seem to end as abruptly and as easily as before. On the other hand I think this book was missing the simplicity and kindness that Baum's Oz seemed to have. At times during this book I felt uncomfortable that there was some underlying racism or about out of character actions. For instance the Wogglebug has always been conceited but I felt like he was just outright cruel to the Scarecrow in the beginning of this story. Additionally I feel like Thomson's writing style is more complicated then kids would have come to expect Oz books to be. There were times while I was reading this book that I had to go back and reread a passage because I was confused about what was happening. So far I have to say I prefer Baum's books but that's only with one Thomson book under my belt.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    In which the Scarecrow goes to search for his family tree and discovers that he is the Long Lost Emperor of the Silver Island Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Dear Children: You will remember that, in the front part of Glinda of Oz, the Publishers told you that when Mr. Baum went away from this world he left behind some unfinished notes about the Princess Ozma and Dorothy and the jolly people of the Wonderful Land of Oz. The Publishers promised that they would try to put these notes to In which the Scarecrow goes to search for his family tree and discovers that he is the Long Lost Emperor of the Silver Island Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Dear Children: You will remember that, in the front part of Glinda of Oz, the Publishers told you that when Mr. Baum went away from this world he left behind some unfinished notes about the Princess Ozma and Dorothy and the jolly people of the Wonderful Land of Oz. The Publishers promised that they would try to put these notes together into a new Oz book for you. Well, here it is—The Royal Book of Oz. I am sure that Mr. Baum would be pleased that Ruth Plumly Thompson, who has known and loved the Oz Stories ever since she was a little girl, has made this new Oz story, with all the Oz folks in it and true to life. You see I am Mrs. Baum, the wife of the Royal Historian of Oz, and so I know how he feels about everything.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Yikes. Ruth Plumly Thompsom is no L. Frank Baum. This did not have the same wonder and sly wit as the real Oz books. Dorothy traveling through the countryside of Oz searching for the Scarecrow was okay - like the poor man's version of an Oz adventure; However, the Silver islands were like a terrible caricature of how a small-minded person would describe Chinese culture. For example - a conversation between the Scarecrow (or as he is here, Emperor Chang Wang Woe) and the Grand Chew Chew "...Am I i Yikes. Ruth Plumly Thompsom is no L. Frank Baum. This did not have the same wonder and sly wit as the real Oz books. Dorothy traveling through the countryside of Oz searching for the Scarecrow was okay - like the poor man's version of an Oz adventure; However, the Silver islands were like a terrible caricature of how a small-minded person would describe Chinese culture. For example - a conversation between the Scarecrow (or as he is here, Emperor Chang Wang Woe) and the Grand Chew Chew "...Am I in China, or where? Are you Chinamen, or what?" "We are Silvermen," said the Grand Chew Chew impressively, "and a much older race than our Chinese cousins..." And a song sung by 'Happy Toko' the little silver man "Two spoons went down to Por-ce-Lane, To meet a China saucer, A 'talking China in a way to break a white man's jaw, Sir!" There's worse, in passages far too long to quote here. Horrible.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kinksrock

    This was Ruth Plumly Thompson's first contribution to the Oz series, and it was not one of my favorites. I understand it was written at another time, but I thought it stepped over the line into ethnic stereotyping in a way that L. Frank Baum did not. Addendum: I just re-read this. This time, the book felt like a lost opportunity to get the continuation of the series after Baum's death off on a good note. I understand that this book is from another time, having been published in 1921, and attitude This was Ruth Plumly Thompson's first contribution to the Oz series, and it was not one of my favorites. I understand it was written at another time, but I thought it stepped over the line into ethnic stereotyping in a way that L. Frank Baum did not. Addendum: I just re-read this. This time, the book felt like a lost opportunity to get the continuation of the series after Baum's death off on a good note. I understand that this book is from another time, having been published in 1921, and attitudes were different. The edition I read even had a publisher's note advising that it "reflects some ideas and biases which were deemed acceptable at that time", but it is hard to get past the Asian stereotypes without a level of discomfort, even accepting that the original text was "presented . . . for the purpose of historical accuracy". Otherwise, the new Oz author came up with a creative idea to explain how the Scarecrow came to life in the first place.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Hosmer

    The last and final book of the Oz series may in fact be my favorite after the original. It follows three of my favorite characters ever, Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow on an adventure to the other side of the world. The Scarecrow, going in search of his family tree, ends up in another world, the Land of the Silver Islands, and is deemed the long lost emperor. While finding out one is royalty is exciting, Scarecrow is also trying to figure out how to get back to his friends in Oz. D The last and final book of the Oz series may in fact be my favorite after the original. It follows three of my favorite characters ever, Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow on an adventure to the other side of the world. The Scarecrow, going in search of his family tree, ends up in another world, the Land of the Silver Islands, and is deemed the long lost emperor. While finding out one is royalty is exciting, Scarecrow is also trying to figure out how to get back to his friends in Oz. Dorothy and the Lion go out in search of the Scarecrow, fearing his feelings were hurt by Professor Wooglebug's investigations into each characters family histories, and the two of them end up on their own adventure where they find new friends. It feels much like the original in that there are adventures and magic to behold without too many superfluous characters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meg McGregor

    This is the first book written after L. Frank Baum's passing. I think Ms. Thompson does a fantastic job with the OZ legacy. In this story, the Scarecrow decides to find out where he came from. All he knows is that he was placed upon a bean pole, found by Dorothy, had lots of adventures with her, and is beloved by all in OZ. But a thoughtless comment by the Wogglebug sets him off on a grand adventure. I appreciate word play and Ms. Thompson certainly delights with that! I so look forward to reading This is the first book written after L. Frank Baum's passing. I think Ms. Thompson does a fantastic job with the OZ legacy. In this story, the Scarecrow decides to find out where he came from. All he knows is that he was placed upon a bean pole, found by Dorothy, had lots of adventures with her, and is beloved by all in OZ. But a thoughtless comment by the Wogglebug sets him off on a grand adventure. I appreciate word play and Ms. Thompson certainly delights with that! I so look forward to reading more novels by her! This is one of the first books I read on my Kindlefire. I enjoyed it but not having the illustrations as part of the book was a real letdown!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dakster

    This is the second Oz story that I have read. The first was the graphic novel version of the Wizard of Oz. Since that is all I have to go by, I can't say that I really enjoyed this book. It was really confusing jumping back and forth between the Scarecrow's story and Dorothy's. I also thought that it was very odd that you never hear anything about Toto. Overall it was hard to read. I would not say that it was a complete waste of time though. It definitely had its parts that were really good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I had read this as an ebook so I didn't get to see John R. Neill's wonderful illustrations, which was a shame. While this wasn't as good as Baum's Oz books (but then again, nothing can really compare), it was still nice to return to the wonderful land I grew to love as a child. I downloaded the rest of Thompson's Oz books so I'll be going through them one by one. Thank god for the digital revolution!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This was a pretty traditional Oz novel, even though it's the first one not actually written by the original author and creator, L. Frank Baum. On the plus side, there is a central problem that serves as the focus of the novel and from which the main complications arise. There are some random adventures as one party, including Dorothy, search for the Scarecrow, but overall it presents a unified story. A good read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas

    This has a distinctly different vibe from that of the Baum books. I think it worked though. I liked the insight into the Scarecrow and thought the night was a different kind of character than the typical ones. It felt a little disjointed and was vaguely racist at times, but overall a solid if not spectacular entry.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    This book would be pretty decent but it is also really racist against the Chinese. The Baum books (which I grew up with) have aged well but this one has definitely not. I've read two others by Thompson and not had this problem with them, so I'd like to hope this particular title is an aberration.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Edward Davies

    The first 100% non-Baum Oz book has imagination, but feels a little forced. There are too many puns and the situations don't seem to occur except for funny effect. I'll continue reading these every so often, but I'm not convinced they're going to get any better.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Finally finished with all the Oz books. I can see why they were so popular. This is similar to the rest with an adventure or two and vivid descriptions. And the same formulaic we are all best friends ending.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy Hoodock

    I got this as a free book figuring I'd see what it was like since I'd read the others. She did her best to imitate Baum's writing style but she didn't get the characterizations correct and she crossed the line to mockery instead of goodnaturedness that Baum always managed so adroitly.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    This was the last book in the oz series and I loved it. It was so cute, the waggle bug continued to follow a dress that he fell in love with. All of the people who were wearing it would give it away to someone else and he would follow the dress. Cute.

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