Book recommendtion: The Patchwork Girl of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

As much as it saddens me, I’ve fallen a bit behind in my book reading lately. I’ve just been so busy with other things that my reading time has dropped off a bit. But, I’m going to do my best to turn that around, starting with this post.

The Patchwork Girl of Oz is the seventh of L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. I’ve posted recommendations for some of the others here, but there were also some that I chose not to recommend. Some novels in the series just aren’t quite as good as the others.

This one, though… I really enjoyed this seventh novel.

When Unk Nunkie and Ojo leave home for the first time, they find themselves in the house of the Crooked Magician. The house is full of wondrous things, including a glass cat and a patchwork girl. But when one of the Crooked Magician’s tricks goes wrong, Unk Nunkie’s life is in danger. Ojo sets off on a journey to save him, a journey that will take him through new lands and introduce him to new friends.

Like the other Oz novels, this one has a sweet tone that left me smiling. I’m not sure how Baum managed to include that much sweetness in his novels without things becoming too over-the-top, but he did.

Although, admittedly, there are some over-the-top moments in all of the Oz novels. But that’s more in terms of imagination than sweetness.

I think the trouble I had with some of the other Oz novels is that they didn’t have as much of a plot as I would have liked. Sure, a plot was there, but it seemed to come second to the introduction of new creatures. There were new creatures introduced in this story, too, of course. But the plot came across more strongly. There were lives at stake in this novel, and even a spark of romance.

All in all, The Patchwork Girl of Oz left me eager to continue reading the Oz series. I can’t wait to see what Baum came up with next.

Goodreads Summary

In this dazzling tale, L. Frank Baum proves once again his power to delight and enchant readers of all ages. Follow the adventures of a charming new band of characters as they explore the wondrous land of Oz and discover that you learn more by traveling than by staying at home.

Forced to venture out of the dark forest, Unc Nunkie and Ojo the Unlucky call on the Crooked Magician, who introduces them to his latest creation: a living girl made out of patchwork quilts and cotton stuffing. But when an accident leaves beloved Unc Nunkie a motionless statue, it is up to Ojo to save him. In his search for the magic ingredients that will restore his uncle to life, Ojo is joined by the Patchwork Girl and by the conceited Glass Cat, who boasts of her hard ruby heart, the resourceful Shaggy Man, and the lovable block-headed Woozy, whose tail hairs are just one of the things Ojo needs to rescue Une Nunkie.

As they travel to the Emerald City, home of the wise and powerful Ozma, they meet Dorothy, the kind and sensible girl from Kansas; the gallant Scarecrow; and, of course, Toto. But no one proves more loyal than the spirited Patchwork Girl, who, although she was brought to life as a servant, is determined to see the wide world for herself.

The Patchwork Girl of Oz has captivated readers for over eighty years. Now, in this stunning new edition–featuring all fifty-one of John R. Neill’s original full-color plates as well as eighty black-and-white illustrations–a whole new generation can discover the beauty and wonder of Oz that have made this classic series an enduring favorite.

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