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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers familiar with the characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, will enjoy reading a darker side of the story and comparing the new version with what they know from the classic.
Strong messages against bullying and about the importance of friendship and family, helping others in times of need, love, being smart and careful, thinking things through, and standing up for yourself and others.
Positive Role Models
Readers see Amy Gumm grow from being an everyday high school student who struggles in school and his bullied, to being a heroine in a fairy-tale world. Amy's likable and funny. Although, her sarcasm does get her into trouble -- in school, with her mother, and eventually in Oz. But Amy's also someone who doesn't hold back. She's kind and caring, and helps out those in need. She feels strongly about the injustices in Oz. Even though she joins forces to take down Dorothy and restore Oz to it's former glory, she doesn't want to hurt anyone, including Dorothy. There are other positive role models in Dorothy Must Die, including talking and non-talking animals, and various residents of Oz who aid Amy in her mission.
Violence & Scariness
There's a lot of violence in Dorothy Must Die, with blood and gore is described. There's a destructive tornado, a person melts, flying monkeys get their wings clipped, souls are eaten, a person's arms get taken off, people and animals are experimented on, a person's corpse is re-animated, an animal's crushed and stabbed. Amy's mission is to kill Dorothy. There's and-to-hand combat, fighting with weapons like knives.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild flirting, a hug, and a kiss.
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"Bitch," "bitchy", "ass," "dumbass," "a--hole," "goddamn," "f--k," "s--t." name calling includes "idiot," and "dumb." Amy, Dorothy, and a Munchkin swear.
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Dorothy drinks an alcoholic drink. Amy's mother is an alcoholic.
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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."
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.