I'm trying to find an Oz book that I read as a child, probably sometime in the early 2000s. It's almost certainly not one of the Baum books, and probably didn't follow the Baum canon either.

What I remember: Dorothy (in Kansas) is sent the Silver Shoes, which have lost most of their magic carrying Dorothy over the Deadly Desert, but can be used exactly one (or possibly two or three) more times. Oz is in danger because a protective spell built into the Yellow Brick Road has been damaged, I think by removing one of the Yellow Bricks. Dorothy uses the Shoes to return to Oz and save it from danger.

I remember the book as being rather darker than the typical Oz book, but I don't think it was "adult" the way Wicked is. Or at least if it was, it went over my head as an oblivious elementary school kid.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

  • You mean the Silver Shoes? Or were they called "Slippers", in some kind of book/film mashup?
    – Buzz
    Dec 25, 2021 at 21:04
  • @Buzz shoes. I forgot they changed the terminology along with the color for the movie Dec 25, 2021 at 21:23
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    My guess would be some adaption of the Return to Oz movie based only on the destroyed yellow brick road. Dec 25, 2021 at 22:32
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    @lucasbachmann If so, it'd be a pretty loose adaption - I think I'd have noticed if the story were an unholy amalgamation of The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. From the Wikipedia description the movie it seems almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the details I recall. The destruction of the yellow brick road appears to be set dressing, rather than central to the plot as I recall it. Dec 25, 2021 at 23:42
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    @Spencer You misread that sentence. "It's almost certainly not one of the Baum books..." Dec 26, 2021 at 4:50

2 Answers 2


This sounds somewhat like "Dorothy - return to Oz", a 1993 children's novel by Thomas L. Tedrow, not to be confused with "Return to Oz", the 1985 film, novelized by Joan Vinge.

The main character is called Dorothy, but she is the granddaughter of the original Dorothy Gale of the Oz books, and the story is set in 1993. She goes to live with her grandmother in Kansas, who gives her the ruby slippers (not silver, Tedrow follows the conventions of the MGM film rather than Baum's novels) to travel to Oz. When the original Dorothy had returned from Oz, the slippers fell off, and although she later found them in the wreckage of her home, their power was drained and they could not be used for magical transportation again. According to oz.fandom.com/wiki:

Dorothy manages to activate the Slippers and travels, with little Ozzie the dog, to a rainbow bridge. Awaiting her is a woman named Mother Rainbow, who tells her she must go to Oz and rescue Ura Wizard. Mother Rainbow hands the Golden Ruler to Dorothy, telling her she must deliver it to Ura. She reports that Ima Witch has stolen the Yellow Brick Road, brick by brick, so a new path to the Emerald City must be found.

As you may expect, Dorothy defeats the evil, rescues the wizard, and wakes up in her bed back in Kansas.

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    From the wiki plot summary I don't think this is it. But my world is richer knowing that someone actually named their characters "Ura Wizard", "Ima Witch", and "Itsa Dragon" Dec 26, 2021 at 15:55
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    "Ura Wizard"... in a different fandom... "I am a what ?" pbs.twimg.com/media/EGMqwldWsAA1ZUc.jpg
    – user96551
    Dec 26, 2021 at 16:12

This is almost certainly the non-canonical Dorothy of Oz by Roger S. Baum, L. Frank Baum's grandson.

  1. The silver slippers have lost most of their magic and can only be used two more times

Dear Dorothy, the silver shoes wil take you to Oz and back home again. The Impassable Desert has taken away much of their power, so they can be used only twice more. Love, Princess Ozma and Glinda

Baum, Roger S., Dorothy of Oz, Books of Wonder, 1989. p. 7

  1. Replacing the magical brick that keeps the protection spell in place:

"The secret of the Yellow Brick Road is known by only a few citizens of Oz [...] The Good Witch of the North, at the request of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, mixed the first brick laid for the Yellow Brick Road with magical ingredients."

ibid, p. 90

As the Queen pushed the brick closer, it glowed a brighter and brighter yellow. Her Majesty pushed and pushed the brick [...] with all of her remaining effort, she pushed the yellow glowing brick one more time. It slid into place. The magical brick's yellow glow spread from one brick in the road to the next.

ibid, p. 102

Other key plot points of this book: The primary antagonist is "The Jester", who derives his power from the Wicked Witch of the West's stolen wand. At one point in the book, Dorothy and friends attempt to escape from a maze that the Jester created before time runs out. Eventually, they trick the Jester, who is turning Oz celebrities into china dolls, and reclaim the wand.

This book is darker that the L. Frank Baum books, and the Jester is a particularly sadistic villain, but it is still a children's book.

The book is available to borrow from the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/dorothyofoz0000baum/

Source: One of the few Oz-inspired books remaining on my bookshelf!

  • Does “canon” have any meaning for works in the public domain which belongs to the public? Dec 27, 2021 at 23:56
  • None of the other plot points ring any bells, but the note is dead on, and the so does the road fixing. I'll have to take a closer look once I get a chance, but this is probably it! Dec 28, 2021 at 6:12
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    @SillybutTrue The book can be blatantly inconsistent with the established lore of the series. I can write a book about a land named Oz that's in the middle of Florida and inhabited entirely by tigers, but that doesn't make it an Oz book. Dec 28, 2021 at 6:15
  • Sure it does. Oz is yours now. You’re as an authoritative source on Oz as L. Frank. Dec 28, 2021 at 11:50
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    @SillybutTrue The concept of "canon" isn't really anything to do with copyright, it's to do with consistency. There can be many authorised derivatives of a copyrighted work which are not considered canon, or multiple parallel canons using the same characters. By the same token, there can be canons of consistent work which aren't controlled by copyright - if I wrote a series of Oz novels, and you wrote a different series, I would be free to ignore your plot developments, making your novels "non-canonical" in relation to mine. We both might then consider either Baum's or MGM's stories canonical.
    – IMSoP
    Dec 28, 2021 at 17:13

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