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Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr
Amulet 7: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part 2 by Gene Luen Yang
Babymouse: Dragonslayer by Jennifer L. Holm
Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates
Camp Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm
Cat In The City by Julie Salamon
Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko
The Circle of Lies by Crystal Velasquez
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Ellen's Lion: Twelve Stories by Crockett Johnson
Food Wars!, Vol. 1 by Yuuto Tsukuda
Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George
Ghostbusters: Mass Hysteria! Part 2 by Erik Burnham
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
Knitting Bones by Monica Ferris
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
The Locksmith issue 1 by Terrance Grace
Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
A Most Unique Machine by George S. May
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #4: Fluttershy by Barbara Randall Kesel
My Little Pony Micro-Series: #6 Applejack by Bobby Curnow
Oz: Road to Oz by Eric Shanower
Paper Towns by John Green
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative by Kris Lackey
Serendipity and Me by Judith L. Roth
Shoplifter by Michael Cho
Sparky! by Jenny Offill
Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins
To Be A Cat by Matt Haig

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Oz: Road to Oz: 05/29/16

Oz: Road to Oz by George S. May

Oz: Road to Oz by Eric Shanower is the fifth of the Marvel graphic novel adaptations of L. Frank Baum's books. When the Wizard of Oz was written no cross country trip by automobile had been accomplished. Oz had a yellow brick road suitable for walking on to go from the hinterland to the Emerald City.

By Road to Oz, that all had changed thanks to Roy Dikeman Chapman in 1901. The release of the Model T Ford in 1908 had opened the floodgates on automobile consumption especially in the middle of the nation, meaning there was a newfound demand for well built roadways in extremely rural areas.

Perhaps as a prediction of the massive remapping of the United States that would come in the form of the interstate highways, starting with the Lincoln Highway Association in 1913, Road to Oz shows that like Rome of old, all roads now lead to the Emerald City, even across the dimensional divide that separate Oz from Earth.

All roads lead to the Emerald City

More importantly, though, Road to Oz is a transcendental exploration of the road and the road trip. That it should come before the modern highways were there and waiting for such ventures speaks to how attune Baum was to the burgeoning 20th century American culture.

Using the Raggedy Man as an authorial insert, Baum takes himself, along with Dorothy's guidance to Oz via a mysterious crossroads that appears near the Gale farm. As Dorothy becomes distressed over getting lost in an area she's lived her entire life, the Raggedy Man waxes poetic about the nature of the road and why getting lost might be a good thing.

Is the Raggedy Mann an authorial insert?
L. Frank Baum (NNDB)

In Dorothy's first trip to Oz the point was to find a way home. The Yellow Brick Road was a means to end. Here, the road is the point. Dorothy and the Raggedy Man have been thrust together on a road trip to who knows where or for who knows how long. Just as in the first book, Dorothy picks up other traveling companions but the trip is still at the whim of the road and not by a set itinerary (find wizard, get witch's broom, etc.)

It's dangerous to leave the road

Although the Road to Oz is a glimmer of modernity — a road that can take one to anywhere through any number of environments and adventures — there's still a nod to older stories. Like the old faerie stories, it's dangerous to leave the road. Bad things lurk off the beaten path. There's imprisonment or worse. So when on a mysterious road, stay on it until you know where it's taking you.

Five stars

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