No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die 0.5) by Danielle Paige (2013)
Suggested age range: 12 and up (Harper Collins, 196 pages)
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Personal Copy
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
The Book: Opening in Kansas, this prequel to Dorothy Must Die, charts Dorothy’s return to Oz, along with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. Much has changed, in the many years that have passed, though Dorothy hasn’t been away for very long. Ozma is in charge now, and as Dorothy is reunited with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion, she is skeptical about this Ozma. Henry and Em want to return to Kansas, but Dorothy has no intention of leaving Oz a second time. Exposure to the great power available in her magical shoes begins to slowly corrupt Dorothy, until she is hungry for Ozma’s position, and will do anything she can to acquire the crown.
Spirituality in No Place Like Oz: Whenever I discuss spiritual aspects in any story, one idea I put forward is that what I find to be an instance of spirituality in a story may not be as obvious to another reader. With that in mind, as I was reading this novella, I started to think about how a person goes from good to bad. Or, are there bad people and good people? Or are there just people that do bad things? And good things? I would tend to think the latter. What’s interesting about No Place Like Oz is the way it highlights Dorothy’s gradual intoxication with power. This desire for power begins to control her, rather than the other way around. I think this is a spiritual issue that is thought-provoking and worth of discussion!
Who Should Read This Book: If you are planning on reading Dorothy Must Die, you should read this prequel! It provides readers with a fascinating glimpse into the events that lead up to Dorothy’s downfall. I have been suggesting this title to both young adult readers and adults—especially adults who enjoy re-workings of classic children’s literature.
The Final Word: There really is no place like Oz!! But do we want Dorothy to return? Probably not. However, she did. And she’s there now. If you want to find out why Dorothy Must Die, read this prequel. I enjoyed reading this story—I personally loved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (book & the film) so I was on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what would happen after Dorothy lands back in Oz. I highly recommend Danielle Paige’s prequel for readers seeking an engaging fantasy that uses a children’s classic as a jumping off point.