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The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum
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The Scarecrow of Oz (1915)

by L. Frank Baum

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1,009913,067 (3.78)16
The adventures of Trot and Cap'n Bill take them to Oz where they help solve the problem of Pom, whose truelove's heart has been turned to ice by witches.
  1. 20
    Sky Island by L. Frank Baum (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: Sky Island is the second book featuring Trot and Cap'n Bill and the last until their reintroduction in The Scarecrow of Oz.
  2. 20
    The Sea Fairies by L. Frank Baum (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: The characters of Trot and Cap'n Bill were first introduced in 1911's The Sea Fairies, which is not part of the Oz series.
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Life is hard when you're a writer chock-full of creative ideas but the whiny jerks whose parents buy your books only want more of the same. 'Scarecrow of Oz' starts off with a jolt with main characters Trot and Cap'n Bill just existing with barely a sketch of an introduction - Betsy Bobbin at least gave her mule some exposition about their homeless plight in 'Tik-Tok of Oz' - but there is a sense that Baum expected readers to know who these two were, especially when it turns out they'd had adventures with Button Bright in the past. Of course they did. Another review points out that those books are 'The Sea Fairies' and 'Sky Island'.

Much like 'The Road to Oz' this book was supposed to lure children into reading Baum's non-Oz books, but this time he spent a little more effort on the plot. Cap'n Bill and Trot are drawn into a whirlpool and trapped underground, only the appearance of a Ork allows them to escape the caverns. They don't come out in the mundane world, however.

It turns out that to the South and a turn from Quadling Country is a great mountain range that cuts off one of Ozma's client-states from the rest of Oz. This isolation has allowed that kingdom to continue in a state of disharmony that makes a story interesting. A wicked king rules the land, he had taken the throne from a mean king who had taken the throne from a nice king. His niece, daughter of nice king, has fallen in love with the gardener's boy, son of mean king, and refuses to marry a rich courtier. The wicked king resorts to wicked magic to get his way - inspiring Trot and Cap'n Bill to help out in any way they can. Can they help the lovers and defeat the wicked king?

Already a lot more is going on then in several of the previous books, and though the inevitable help from the Scarecrow arrives, a great deal of the resolution comes from Trot, Cap'n Bill and the Ork's relationship and actions. If only they didn't have to go back to Oz to stay at the end. Trot and Cap'n Bill don't appear to worry about Trot's mother. And Button Bright's parents are...?

Oz

Next: 'Rinkitink in Oz'

Previous: 'Tik-Tok of Oz' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Honestly, though it pains me to say it - the titular character is my favorite one in the series, after all - this is one of Baum's weaker Oz books, obviously written at a time when he felt okay about reusing old material. The first half is the abandoned sequel to The Sea Fairies and Sky Island; the second half is adapted from Baum's unsuccessful silent film, His Majesty, the Scarecrow. It just about coheres together, but it's not terribly exciting. Weirdly, Baum even violated one of his core rules by including a thwarted romance plotline. Weirder still, that's one of the better parts of the book! ( )
  saroz | Nov 4, 2018 |
A pretty good adventure. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 4, 2017 |
This book bored me silly in the beginning until the characters made their way to Oz. It got better after that so my 2 star rating went up to 3. The title was misleading as Scarecrow didn't even show up until the last third of the book. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Baum's "The Scarecrow of Oz" sees two of his creations from another book finding their way to the land of oz. I personally had never been introduced to these other characters as I have never read the other book. This fact does not take away from the joy of reading this book though. In many ways it can add to it because after you are finished if you desire you can find another adventure containing them.

This book, out of all the oz books I have read to date, is probably my favorite of the series because it felt that Baum was comfortable with his own writing and also what he wanted to convey with this story about the land of oz. I have stated in my other reviews of the Oz books that there have been times that you could tell that Baum was over telling stories of this other world, but you can tell in this book that he was having fun. It seemed like a switch had finally went off in his head that he could still create wonderful characters regardless of them eventually ending up in Oz. This made this book very strong in my opinion.

The creatures while fantastical in nature, which is the point of new characters in these books to be larger than life, seemed to also be rooted in a more "real world" understanding of what a character is. The Ork is something that you would think you would see at any zoo you went to but you realize it was not a real bird ever. This contrasts to some of the creatures in the previous books that you felt could never exist in any capacity. Also these creatures seemed more geared towards a bit older generation, not adults but slightly older than a child, because he actually spends time describing things in a manner that he didn't do in the previous books that give the creatures/characters a different type of life. One that seems to again contrast with some of the other characters like the Woozy that was introduced in a previous volume that felt it was geared specifically for small children.

Baum has found himself as an author in my opinion in this book and as a result produced a book that is really wonderful to read. His books are never high literature by any mean nor do they have any particular deep message most of the time, but they are fun reads full of adventure and intrigue that are worth reading. ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. Frank Baumprimary authorall editionscalculated
Neill, John R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to "The Uplifters" of Los Angeles, California, in grateful appreciation of the pleasure I have derived from association with them, and in recognition of their sincere endeavor to uplift humanity through kindness, consideration and good-fellowship. They are big men - all of them - all with the generous hearts of little children.
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"Seems to me," said Cap'n Bill, as he sat beside Trot under the big acacia tree, looking out over the blue ocean, "seems to me, Trot, as how the more we know, the more we find we don't know."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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