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Adele in Sand Land by Claude Ponti
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Arnold of the Ducks by Mordicai Gerstein
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Black Ice by Andy Lane
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas
Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman
The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz by Katharine M. Rogers
The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings by Sarah Prineas
Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development by W.H. Matthews
Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson and Michael Robertson
Murder Past Due by D.R. Meredith
No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer
Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang
The Phantom of Nantucket by Carolyn Keene
Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood
Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Secrets & Sequences by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Slug Days by Sara Leach
Somnambulance by Fiona Smyth
The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates
Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz
That Book Woman by Heather Henson
This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
This Is Not the Abby Show by Debbie Reed Fischer
Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall and Hyeondo Park

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 06, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 13, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 20, 2018)
July 2018 Sources
July 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFFFFF: The far end of the spectrum: orphans who cross the cornfield to utopia
FFFF66: Orphans going off road to reach utopia
FFFF00: The highway to utopia leads to self discovery for orphans
FFCCFF: Orphans through cornfields and time How I classify the road narrative protagonist

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4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz: 08/31/18

L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz

L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz by Katharine M. Rogers is a biography and analysis of Baum's novels. For a little over a year now I have been re-reading the Oz books by L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson. The journey began with the graphic novel adaptations by Eric Shanower and fed back into the original books (including a personal journey to own physical copies of the entire set).

One thing that has struck me about canon Oz are the sheer number of women in important roles. In more recent pastiches, dystopian Oz is always shown as being ruined by a woman as ruler and yet that is the exact opposite of what happens in the originals, beyond Jinjur's ineffective brief rule between the Scarecrow and Ozma.

So I wanted to dig a little deeper and research authors to see if I was just applying a modern reading to texts that would have been interpreted differently a hundred years ago. There is absolutely nothing wrong with reinterpreting a text. The ones that last are the ones that can grow and change as society changes. Shakespeare's plays, for instance, work well because they are so open-ended.

Rogers's biography was enlightening and thankfully very focused on his writing. Sometimes biographies end up straying into the lengthy histories of grandparents and parents before finally getting to the main subject. This is especially frustrating when one is trying to gain insight into their creative process.

I have taken copious notes for the project which will probably come into play as I continue to work through the Oz books. This book probably won't be for everyone and Rogers is clearly a fan, meaning her biography might not be as evenhanded as it should be. For instance, there is limited discussion of his racism (and the biggest fault of the Oz books is the lack of diversity).

I also don't know if I will be seeking out biographical information of other authors featuring prominently in my road narrative books. Part of that indecision stems from newer authors not having biographies written about them. Part of it to is my film studies background where the text has to stand alone unless specific records of intent can be found. Roger's biography while extensive is still her interpretation of Baum's life and works. It's a context but not canon.

Four stars

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