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Ophie Out of Oz: 06/25/08
I chose Ophie out of Oz by Kathleen O'Dell from the library for two reasons: the title and the cover. With that in mind, I went into reading it half expecting not to like it.
Oz is this case is California and Ophie sees herself as a Dorothy and loves to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Oregon, though, is no where as magical as California and Ophie will have to adapt or be miserable. Ophie out of Oz is a coming of age story written in a style similar to the Junie B. Jones books but for an older audience.
Ophie though takes most of the book to become a likeable character. She suffers from the same anger management issues as Andy in the Sea Shack or Venola in Catty-Cornered and any number of other 'tween protagonists but Ophie's growth as a character is nearly glacial; coming in at just slightly faster than Harry Potter in the 5th book.
Despite Ophie's problems as a lead character, I did still enjoy the book because of the supporting cast of characters. Brittany Borg who is set up as the school bully ends up being the most interesting and sympathetic character in the book. She and her sister made the book worth reading.