L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz
Since it was first introduced over a hundred years ago in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , L. Frank Baum's world of Oz has become one of the most beloved creations in children's literature and film. But who was the creator?Born in 1856 in upstate New York, Baum was a classic "late bloomer" who tried acting, selling, and editing. Finally, in his late 30s he took the advice of his mother-in-law, suffragist leader Matilda Gage, and turned his attention to selling the stories he'd been telling to his sons and their friends. After a few books were published with varying success, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (originally titled The Emerald City) was released in 1900. It quickly became a bestseller and has remained so ever since.Frank Baum's myriad theatrical and entrepreneurial ventures almost bankrupted his family on several occasions, with wife Maud's business acumen providing the sole relief. But when Oz became a "traveling musical extravaganza" that earned raves across America, it created a windfall. Baum was to pen thirteen more Oz books and see the production take the stage in both Chicago and New York. Katharine M. Rogers at long last gives Baum the man and Baum the writer his due in a book Library Journal enthusiastically recommends "for all who love the marvelous land of Oz."