The Wonderful Wizard of Oz BY Baum, L. Frank

MGM’s classic adaptation from the 30’s is still one of the most beloved films of all time, and the book isn’t anything to snub either. Originally published in the year 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of the foundations of the fairytale genre. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read an Oz book in your life—and believe me, there are plenty to be read—somewhere, at some place or time, you’ve heard or used an Oz related reference. Who, then, would seek to ban a book that has become so important to the American experience?

America, that’s who. It might surprise you to know that this timeless classic has been contested for many years and for a variety of reasons. According to an article called “Book’s Alive” by Vincent Starret, the Detroit Library banned The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1957 for allegedly having no value for children. It was also said that the book perpetuated cowardly behavior – despite the fact that the character afflicted by cowardice was in fact never cowardly to begin with. The land of Oz has also come under fire from religious communities, who claim that it presents children with a positive image of magic and sorcery. Clearly, whatever the reason, people who would seek to ban this classic are living somewhere on the wrong side of the rainbow. ??