Trouble Under Oz

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Overview

Big trouble is brewing in Oz! Sinister clouds boil ominously over the Emerald City, Dorothy has gone missing, and there are rumblings of rebellion in the Nome Kingdom. So a desperate plea for help goes out from Princess Ozma to two resourceful sisters from Kansas through the magic snow globe that helped bring them to Oz once before.

But the girls face troubles of their own at home, and only one of them can answer Ozma's call. It's up to Dori to prevent a war deep in the caverns ...

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Overview

Big trouble is brewing in Oz! Sinister clouds boil ominously over the Emerald City, Dorothy has gone missing, and there are rumblings of rebellion in the Nome Kingdom. So a desperate plea for help goes out from Princess Ozma to two resourceful sisters from Kansas through the magic snow globe that helped bring them to Oz once before.

But the girls face troubles of their own at home, and only one of them can answer Ozma's call. It's up to Dori to prevent a war deep in the caverns of the Nomes, while Em tries to do the same between their parents. It's hard to say who has the tougher job.

Written by acclaimed fantasy author Sherwood Smith and adorned with marvelous full-page black-and-white illustrations by William Stout, Trouble Under Oz is the second adventure featuring Dori and Em, two modern-day descendants of Dorothy Gale. The girls find themselves drawn even deeper into the affairs of the magical land they first visited in The Emerald Wand of Oz.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
As an icy wind blows across Kansas, Em and Dori, descendants of the famous Dorothy Gale, are swept into new adventures. Summoned to Oz through the magic snow globe by Princess Ozma, the girls must decide how best to assist their friends in the magical country, since they must keep the secret land hidden from adults in their real world who might oppose their adventures. A solution presents itself through a family emergency which takes their mother away from home, and an obliging blizzard which prevents the arrival of their father. Each girl makes a sacrifice and yet remains in the world in which she functions best: Dori goes to Oz, and Em stays to guard the home front. Allying herself with Prince Inga, Dori makes a gallant effort to stop a war with the Nomes, while Em answers the telephone and gives vague answers to all concerned adults in Kansas, each keeping in touch with the other through the snow globe. Readers who enjoyed The Emerald Wand of Oz will find the sequel equally as engaging, enhanced by William Stout's wonderful and terrible drawings of Nomes, Dinods, and such. This contemporary excursion into the legendary land is sanctioned by the seal of approval from The L. Frank Baum Family Trust Official License.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Having defeated the new Wicked Witch of the West in The Emerald Wand of Oz (HarperCollins, 2005), Dorothy Gale's modern-day descendants are back for an entirely new adventure. This time, only Dori is free to return to Oz, while her sister Em must stay in our world to handle the girls' divorced parents. Once back, Ozma asks Dori to accompany Prince Inga to the world of the Nomes. It seems that Rik, the displaced Nome Prince, is hoping to usurp the Nomish throne. Together, Dori and Inga must aid Rik and try to avoid war both within the Nome community and with their underground neighbors as well. Along the way, they befriend invisible children and mermaids, defeat an Iron Giant, and face vicious monsters. As with the first book, Smith introduces favorite characters from the original series alongside new friends. The book's tone and content are faithful to L. Frank Baum's vision. Stout's pen-and-ink illustrations reference Art Deco artists and brilliantly evoke one of the original Oz illustrators, John R. Neill. As for the story itself, Oz purists will find great comfort in Smith's attention to detail and faithful incorporation of already existing lore. Newcomers will discover an engaging new series and may even be convinced to give Baum's stories a try.-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060296100
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/8/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherwood Smith began making books out of taped paper towels when she was five years old, and at eight began writing stories about another world full of magic and adventure -- and hasn't stopped yet. She has published more than two dozen books, ranging from space opera to children's fantasy. Her children's fantasies have shown up on many library Best Books lists. One, Wren's War, was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and was an Anne Spencer Lindbergh Honor Book. She has run writing workshops for nearly twenty years and has been active in organizing and participating in online workshops for more than ten. Her other young-adult books include Crown Duel, Wren to the Rescue, and Wren's Quest. Married more than twenty years (two kids, two dogs, and a house full of books), Ms. Smith is currently a part-time teacher as well as a writer. She lives in Southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

Trouble Under Oz


By Sherwood Smith

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Sherwood Smith
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060296100

Chapter One

Gusts of icy wind chased across the Kansas landscape and moaned under the eaves of a little clapboard house halfway along an ordinary street on the outskirts of Lawrence. Cozy golden light glowed in the twin attic windows of that house, each window belonging to a small bedroom.

Emma sat in the left-hand room. Her feet curled around the rungs of her chair as she concentrated on a round glass snow globe she held in her hands. It was an old snow globe, its wooden base marred a little by tooth marks that looked as if they had been made by a small dog.

The snow globe had been passed along from cousins to nieces and finally to Emma's grandmother. She had given it to Emma and her sister, Dori, with the story that it had once belonged to Dorothy Gale.

Yes, that Dorothy Gale.

The Dorothy who had been carried to Oz on a cyclone, and who, after many adventures, had finally moved permanently to Oz, along with her dog, Toto, and her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em.

Before last summer Emma hadn't believed that there ever was a Dorothy Gale any more than she had believed in Oz. She had refused to believe right up until she and Dori found themselves swept up in a tornado and whirled away to the amazing Land of Oz.

Emma believed now. In fact, she was trying to use thesnow globe to see what was happening in Oz. Glinda the Good had assured the girls that they could occasionally see their Oz friends in it. Emma didn't know how the magic worked; she just knew that it sometimes did, as long as the girls remembered to say Ozma's name when they looked into the snow globe.

Most of the time it just showed tiny swirls of glinting white flecks around a teeny green model of Princess Ozma's marvelous royal palace in the Emerald City. But sometimes a spark of light glowed deep in the snow globe. When it did, the girls saw it expand until they could see inside the palace--and there would be the Tin Woodman or the Scarecrow or Scraps the Patchwork Girl walking in and out, or playing in the gardens with other famous inhabitants of Oz, or dancing sometimes, with pretty colored lights strung up over the fountains, when Ozma had a party.

Those parties always looked merry, and the sisters watched them with wistful longing, but there had not been many of them of late.

Em shut out the sound of the wind howling around the corners of their old house and frowned down into the snow globe. "I would like to see what Princess Ozma is doing," she said in a clear voice. "Come on, magic, work today," she added in a whisper.

Was that a spark? No, it was just a reflection of her desk light. No, it wasn't! It was a spark! Em watched the pinpoint of light grow into a multicolored glow. She concentrated fiercely on the light in case her wavering attention might somehow douse the magic.

But it brightened steadily until she saw the emerald green lawn behind Ozma's palace, with its splashing fountain. Before it stood an unusual figure made of rosy, polished copper, with a round body and a smaller ball for a head. He was sturdy and motionless as only a mechanical being can be. He gripped a sign in his metal fingers.

Em bent closer, almost touching her nose to the snow globe. She looked at the sign. The letters seemed to dance, then reform into English:

Dori and Em!

"Hey! That's us!" Em looked up in surprise, then turned her gaze back to the sign before her magical view of the Emerald City gardens could vanish.

She bent closer, squinting at the words below her name.

We must consult about Prince Rikiki of the Nome kingdom.

Rik! Em wrinkled her nose. She hadn't really liked that boy. He'd lied far too much, and what's more, he'd obviously enjoyed lying. But Dori had liked him. She said she felt sorry for him, a ragged deposed prince who wanted his kingdom back. She'd also found his lies funny.

Em knuckled her chin with one hand as she peered down into the snow globe. Well, what did the rest of the sign say?

If you wish to come help, tap the snow globe three times.

And it was signed, with a flourish,

Princess Ozma

Ruler of Oz

Go to Oz again? Ozma and Glinda wanted them back?

"Hurray!" she breathed.

Even if she had to see Rik, it would be worth it! She set the snow globe on her desk and hurried downstairs to the kitchen, where she smelled the warm, delicious, cinnamony smell of baking oatmeal-and-raisin cookies.

As soon as Dori saw her younger sister race around the corner of the staircase, she knew something was up. Em was ordinarily so practical. Her brown hair was worn short and her serious face and her clothes always chosen for comfort and wear, not for style or beauty. Dori was just the opposite, and before they'd gone to Oz the sisters had not gotten on very well.

Dori prized imagination above just about anything else. She wore her own brown hair long, usually in braids tied with ribbons, or held back with butterfly pins, and she loved pretty clothes. Dori knew she'd be happiest if the fashions of America changed to long, flouncy princess dresses.

Dori paused in the act of spooning cookie batter onto the baking sheet and swiped a wisp of hair off her forehead. Why was Em grinning like that? With Em, it could mean anything from a snow globe vision to a tough math problem solved.

Em glanced around the room to see if they were alone. Mom stood over in the corner by the basement stairs, talking into the phone in a low voice.

"I saw them," Em whispered.

Continues...


Excerpted from Trouble Under Oz by Sherwood Smith Copyright © 2006 by Sherwood Smith. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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