Trouble Under Oz
Sherwood Smith & William Stout
HarperCollins, 2006 (2006)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
rouble Under Oz
The Emerald Wand of Oz
in a series in which two sisters from Kansas (imaginative Dori and practical Em) help the Princess Ozma. William Stout's black and white illustrations help us visualize Sherwood Smith's exciting and imaginative story. The sisters' parents have separated and, when their mother has to leave suddenly to be with their hospitalized grandmother, Dori and Em end up home alone. Their mother, father - who's en route to be with them - and a neighbor check on them frequently by phone.
hen Princess Ozma, the Ruler of Oz, asks for their help (via a magical snow globe) they decide that one must go and one stay to keep up appearances. Dori ends up on an adventure with Prince Inga of Pingaree (sent for his skills in diplomacy) and her old friend, the exiled rascal, Prince Rikiki of the Nomes, who wants to regain his father's throne from the usurper Kaliko. Em hangs out on her own, re-reading
Wizard of Oz
books, following Dori's travels in the snow globe, and inventing an assortment of reasons for why her sister can't come to the phone (readers will feel for her!)
ori and Inga traverse the Deadly Desert by magic carpet. Inga's parents lend them their greatest treasure - three magic pearls offering strength, protection from harm, and wisdom. They meet Rik and enter the caves, leading to the underground Nome territory. But Kaliko's spies warn him of their presence and he has more than one nefarious plan. The trio traverse the overly orderly Land of the Mangaboos, and chat with invisible people. They aid the Queen of the Tascas (rainbow-colored birds) and a mermaid, and are helped in return. Rik sits on his throne - for a while - and Dori prevents a terrible war. She even makes it home in time to save Em difficult questions from their parents.
recommend reading the first book in the series before
Trouble Under Oz
, as there are many references to previous events. For those who love the world of Oz, Sherwood Smith offers new adventures with engaging heroines. As Princess Ozma tells Dori, '
Adventure ... is very grand: it never quite ends, really. It just braids itself between different people
' - and she hints at more adventure for young fans to look forward to, related to the ominous cloud that keeps appearing over the Emerald City.
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