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The Wizard of Oz : Puffin Classics (Clothbound Classic) - L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz

Puffin Classics (Clothbound Classic)

By: L. Frank Baum, Cornelia Funke (Introduction by)

Hardcover

Published: 22nd August 2012
For Ages: 9 - 13 years old
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Dorothy thinks she is lost forever when a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas and whisks her and her dog, Toto, far away to the magical land of Oz.

To get home Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and find the wonderfully mysterious Wizard of Oz. Together with her companions the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion whom she meets on the way, Dorothy embarks on a strange and enchanting adventure.

About the Author

L. Frank Baum lived from 1856 to 1919. He was born in Chittenango, New York State and grew up to be a bit of an entrepreneur. He worked in the theatre, in newspapers and magazines, he manufactured a patent axle grease called 'Baum's Castorine' and managed a general store called 'Baum's Bazaar'. For a while he was a poultry farmer and his first book was about raising chickens! His ideas didn't earn him much money and he had to think again. He had always loved telling his children bedtime stories, so he turned to writing for children. Even in his early books, retellings of traditional stories, he introduced a little girl called Dorothy! His children loved his stories about a land called Oz and in 1900 The Wizard of Oz was published. It was an overnight success and soon became a stage musical extravaganza for which Baum wrote the lyrics. The wonderful 1939 film, starring Judy Garland, gave the story an even higher profile and has become almost as famous as the book. Baum became so identified with Oz that his other books had to be published under pseudonyms.

Chapter One

The Cyclone

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty-looking cooking stove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar—except a small hole, dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap-door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.

When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere.Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.

When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled, now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at.

Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke.

It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.

To-day, however, they were not playing. Uncle Henry sat upon the door-step and looked anxiously at the sky, which was even grayer than usual. Dorothy stood in the door with Toto in her arms, and looked at the sky too. Aunt Em was washing the dishes.

From the far north they heard a low wail of the wind, and Uncle Henry and Dorothy could see where the long grass bowed in waves before the coming storm. There now came a sharp whistling in the air from the south, and as they turned their eyes that way they saw ripples in the grass coming from that direction also.

Suddenly Uncle Henry stood up.

"There's a cyclone coming, Em," he called to his wife; "I'll go look after the stock." Then he ran toward the sheds where the cows and horses were kept.

Aunt Em dropped her work and came to the door. One glance told her of the danger close at hand.

"Quick, Dorothy!" she screamed; "run for the cellar!"

Toto jumped out of Dorothy's arms and hid under the bed, and the girl started to get him. Aunt Em, badly frightened, threw open the trap-door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small, dark hole. Dorothy caught Toto at last and started to follow her aunt. When she was half way across the room there came a great shriek from the wind, and the house shook so hard that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor.

A strange thing then happened.

The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon.

The north and south winds met where the house stood, and made it the exact center of the cyclone. In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher, until it was at the very top of the cyclone; and there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather.

It was very dark, and the wind howled horribly around her, but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily. After the first few whirls around, and one other time when the house tipped badly, she felt as if she were being rocked gently, like a baby in a cradle.

Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat quite still on the floor and waited to see what would happen.

Once Toto got too near the open trap-door, and fell in; and at first the little girl thought she had lost him. But soon she saw one of his ears sticking up through the hole, for the strong pressure of the air was keeping him up so that he could not fall. She crept to the hole, caught Toto by the ear, and dragged him into the room again; afterward closing the trap-door so that no more accidents could happen.

ISBN: 9780141341736
ISBN-10: 0141341734
Series: Puffin Classics (Hardcover)
Audience: Children
For Ages: 9 - 13 years old
For Grades: 3 - 6
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 22nd August 2012
Dimensions (cm): 18.5 x 13.9  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.26