The Scarecrow of Oz

by L. Frank Baum
Series: Oz 9
Reviewed date: 2018 Oct 21
267 pages
cover art

The Scarecrow of Oz has a few fun bits, but overall is not a strong effort from Mr. Baum. Like the previous Oz installment, Tik-Tok of Oz, this book's title character isn't the main character. The adventure starts with a little girl not named Dorothy--Trot--and her traveling companion, Cap'n Bill. They have a number of adventures and make a friend of the Ork, a winged flying creature who isn't a bird. The Ork has four paddle-shaped wings, and propels himself through the air by means of a spinning propeller-like tail. The Ork is a fun character. I hope he shows up in more books.

Trot and Cap'n Bill and the Ork run into Button-Bright, and then the whole crew ends up in Jinxland, an isolated corner of Quadling Country in Oz. There they meet Pon, a gardener's boy who is in love with the Princess Gloria. King Krewl, Gloria's uncle, is a bad king, and about then the Scarecrow shows up--having been sent by Glinda. The Scarecrow and our friends help depose King Krewl, run off a wicked witch who has been helping the king terrorize Jinxland, and put Gloria on the throne which is rightfully hers.

Pon stays in Jinxland with Gloria. The Ork returns to his homeland. Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Button-Bright travel to Glinda's palace. There they meet Dorothy, who has been sent by Ozma to greet them and bring them to the Emerald City to live.

Then we have a final couple of chapters to say hello to our old friends. Jack Pumpkinhead, Professor Wogglebug, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger and Tik-Tok and Eureka the Kitten and the nine tiny piglets and even the Woozy get a mention.

I hope the next few Oz books get better. I didn't find this one much fun. This isn't anywhere close to as good as The Patchwork Girl of Oz.

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