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Dorothy Must Die, Book 1
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dorothy Must Die is a darker version of Frank L. Baum's classic 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1933 movie teens are familiar with. Amy Gumm, a modern teen from Kansas, is swept up in a tornado and brought to Oz to be its new savior. Years ago, Dorothy returned to Oz and became obsessed with magic. The Lion, Tin Woodman, and Scarecrow are also twisted, monstrous versions of their former selves. Amy's mission is to kill Dorothy, and the book has a lot of violent scenes that are very descriptive. There's also fighting and hand-to-hand combat. Strong language includes "bitch" "ass," "a--hole," "s--t", "f--k," and "goddamn."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Amy Gumm (cleverly named after The Wizard of Oz actress Judy Garland's actual last name), is a teen who lives in Kansas with her alcoholic mother in a trailer park. One day, a destructive tornado sweeps through her town and takes Amy to Oz. A big fan of the classic children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, she's extremely surprised to find Oz really exists. She's also shocked to learn that Dorothy, the sweet farm girl from Kansas, has taken over Oz as a maniacal dictator and is obsessed with magic. Through her greed, she's destroyed Oz and is willing to hurt anyone who stands in her way. She's murderous, evil, and wicked, and so are her henchman -- the Lion, the Tin Woodman, and the Scarecrow. She's everything readers thought the Wicked Witch of the West was. But in Dorothy Must Die, wicked is good and good is wicked. Or is it? Amy joins forces with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to take down Dorothy once and for all. But all Amy really wants is to go home. And in Oz, Amy learns there's truly no place like home.
Is it any good?
DOROTHY MUST DIE is an extremely imaginative take on the classic children's story The Wizard of Oz. Once Amy steps into Oz, readers immediately see the Oz they know from the original book series and 1939 movie, then a new darker, twisted version emerges. There are monsters, swearing munchkins, an evil Dorothy, wizards and witches, talking animals, and more.
It's a fast-paced, exciting tale. However, the long section where Amy trains with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked drags a bit, leaving readers yearning for Amy to get back into the Emerald City. The novel ends on a huge cliffhanger, whetting readers' appetite for seeing Amy complete her mission: to take down Dorothy and her henchman.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about retellings of the Oz story. How do you think Dorothy Must Die compares with Frank L. Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz books, the movies The Wizard of Oz movie (1939) and Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), or the musicals Wicked and The Wiz?
Why are we so fascinated with Oz and its characters?
Dorothy Must Die has been optioned for a TV series on the CW network. It's being developed by the creators of the television series Heroes. Do you think you would watch it?
- Author: Danielle Paige
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Fairy Tales, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date: April 1, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 464
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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