The Rundown- May ’17

imageThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (reread)

I first read this book in fifth grade, after browsing my elementary school library shelves for something I hadn’t read yet. (Yep, I literally started in the “As” and just pulled new books to read!) I don’t completely remember how I felt about the book back then, but I think I read a couple of the sequels afterwards, so I must have liked it enough to continue the story.

I started the book this time by reading it to one of my fifth grade Book Clubs. We ran out of time to finish it, so I hope they read the rest of it themselves! It didn’t make the best read aloud in my opinion, but I know lots of teachers who love to read it with their class, so to each their own.

Anyway, once I started reading it by myself, it went much more quickly. The thing that struck me then and now is how different it is from the movie. Most of the events are the same, but the movie has completely rearranged the order of what happens. That threw me off at first. I had to separate what I thought I knew about the story and concentrate on what was happening in the book.

This really is a great fantasy story and the characters Baum has created are unforgettable. Try not to think about the movie and you will enjoy it much more!

VERDICT: This is a classic that deserves its place on the list. I do think the movie did a lot to cement its legacy, but the book has lots to offer in its own right. The world Baum has created is fantastical and enjoyable!


**Check out Ashley’s review HERE**


June ’15 Update – Ashley

Wow!  Can you tell it’s summer break?  Both books read and blog post complete and it’s not even the last week of June!  I actually leave for Mexico next week – time to decide which books I’m packing!  But, first, my reads in June….

* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum (reread) – Fun Fact about this read: the copy I read was actually the copy given to me by my parents when I was nine years old and participating my my first “real” stage production – as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz!  After that, theatre became a really big part of my life (including being my first major), so this particular show/book was kind of a big deal for me.

The imageWonderful Wizard of Oz tells the tale of the fantastic journey one girl takes from her home in gray and gloomy Kansas to a beautiful but mysterious land full of bright colors, strange creatures, and magic.  Her only hope of returning home to her family lies with the much-talked-about, yet never-seen wizard, who lives in the Emerald City at the end of the yellow brick road.  Along the way, the girl (Dorothy) encounters a scarecrow,  a tin man, and a lion, who quickly become companions on her journey – each hoping to get what they most want from the storied wizard.  However, as with any journey tale, the road to the Emerald City is fraught with danger and surprises.  The foursome meet many friends – and enemies – along the way.  Among these enemies is a very wicked witch who is willing to go to any lengths to stop Dorothy and her friends in their quest.

My Take:  It pains me to say it, but I feel very confident in saying that this is one of those books that is actually better known as a movie.  As a matter of fact, I had completely forgotten how incredibly different the book is from the movie (which I begrudgingly admit to being more familiar with)!  Typically, books are much more extensive than films, and the same can be said for these two.  However, I have to say – I think the movie does a better job of reeling the audience in and adding details to scenes in order to make them come alive.  In the book, everything was kept very succinct.  Of course, there is so much more that happens in the book that you never see in the movie, so…  it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.  Overall, it was an entertaining story and definitely a classic.  Worth reading, but also worth watching!

* The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (new read) – This book has been calling my name since we first found “the list.”  Of course, the title itself is interesting…. then you stumble upon the author’s name and can’t help but smile.  So, I bought it in that first mass purchase of books back in February.  It’s been sitting on the shelf next to my bed since then.  Now, it’s a little lengthier than some of the other books I’ve read so far, which explains why I hadn’t read it yet…  During the school year, most of my #yabookchallenge reading happened at the very end of the month and this particular book seemed too daunting at those times.  However, in June (with all of Summer Break in front of me)… I jumped at theimage chance to read it!  (Turns out that it wouldn’t have mattered… I finished this book in a matter of hours!)

From the very beginning, the only word I can really think of to describe this book is fun!  The title, the author’s name, the warning on the front of the book (“Read this book – if you dare!”), the repeated warnings on both the back and first few pages of the book…  Everything about it screams FUN!  The Name of This Book is Secret tells the story of two young friends (an unlikely pairing, as seems to be the case in most great YA novels…) who stumble upon a big secret and the various escapades they go through trying to learn more.  The author is completely bent on not revealing too much of the real story – for all the danger it might put the reader in (!) – but that just adds to the fun.

My Take: One of my favorite new reads so far!  This was a very entertaining book – it was easy to get lost in and just enjoy.  Did I mention that it’s fun?  😉  Now, as my disclaimer… Don’t go into this book hoping for some deep, moral revelation.  Don’t start reading it thinking that you’re reading the next great American classic.  There are some themes and topics within the story that could lead themselves to interesting conversations, but this is a book to read … just for FUN!