The letter is W, and the book is the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I love everything ‘Ozian’ (including my friend who has recently moved there). For my eighteenth birthday I was given a copy of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a difference. Instead of Dorothy’s name in it, it was my name. It was specially ordered for me by my friend who has recently moved to Australia. When he gave it to me, i was chatting to him as I opened it, and when I saw what it was, my voice went up a couple of octaves, and I did a pretty girly scream of excitement. This is a completely unique gift, and I will keep it forever.
I had read the book before, and seen the movie, and seen most of the spin-off movies. I’ve also read the prequel Wicked, and the other books in that series, and I was Dorothy for Halloween a few years ago. I have seen the stage show of Wicked twice, and I am going to see it for a third time when it comes up to Glasgow in May. So you can say I am a bit of a fan. And this is the book that started it all.
It tells the story of a little girl called Dorothy who lives on a farm in Kansas with her uncle and her aunt. She has a little dog called Toto, and one day a tornado hits the farm. Dorothy falls and hits her head, and sees the house being pulled into the tornado and whisked away, leaving her uncle and aunt in cellar back in Kansas. When the house stops, Dorothy finds herself in the magical and of Oz. In order to get home, she is sent on a quest to find the Wizard, who can grant wishes, and lives in Oz. To do so, she must follow a road made of yellow bricks. As a reward for killing the Wicked Witch of the East (her house fell on her), she is given a pair of ruby red slippers. On her quest, she meets a Scarecrow who has no brains, a Tin Man who has no heart, and a Cowardly Lion with no courage. Together they travel to Oz, hindered by the Wicked Witch of the West, who wants revenge on Dorothy for killing her sister and taking her shoes. Will the characters ever get their wishes, will they meet the Wizard, and will Dorothy ever get home?
The story teaches children to be reliant on themselves, and that a slightly defiant streak will come in handy if you need it. They must have confidence and faith, and that there is always a way back home.