My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second of L. Frank Baum's Oz book series, and features some characters from the original novel, and several new ones.
It starts off in the north of Oz, the only area not visited in the original book, where a boy named Tip is in the servitude of Mombi, the self-syled "Wicked Witch of the North" (it turns out that the Wizard of Oz taught her to practice magic).
One day, Tip decides to scare Mombi, so he creates a man out of wood, with a jack-o-lantern for a head, known as "Jack Pumpkinhead". However, instead of being scared, Mombi uses a magic powder to bring Jack Pumpkinhead to life, then tells Tip that she will turn him into a marble statue.
So, Tip and Jack escape, stealing the magic powder to create a "saw-horse", which they also bring to life, and then travel to the Emerald City, where the Scarecrow is ruler.
However, it turns out that no everyone is satisfied with the Scarecrow's rule, and an army of girls overthrows him, and the characters are forced to flee to the west, where they meet up with the Tin Woodman.
Despite the absence of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, this felt like a worthy successor to the original book, in which I was able to learn more about the backstory to the Wizard himself, and there were a few surprises towards the end that I did not expect, and it made me intrigued to read more of the Oz novels at some point. This was also a very short book, so I was able to finish it in just a few days.
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