Dear Danielle Paige,
Reading for me has always been a constant struggle. My hyperactive mind could never settle down and focus enough to let me enjoy the stories. I was never able to explore the “different worlds” that people talk about being transported to while reading books. No book truly got a hold of my attention. For every book that I actually read cover to cover, I probably had started twenty books, but lost interest and stopped reading. I tried books ranging from the fictional world of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, to the memoir, The Glass Castle. However, I precisely remember the day I picked up the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
I was eight years old and was required to read twenty minutes a night for my third grade reading class. I searched my house for a book that I was at least somewhat willing to read for the next couple of weeks. It might sound cliché, but I found The Wonderful Wizard of Oz hidden deep in a dusty, old bookshelf my family has. My family is so busy that none of us get enough time to sit and read. The bookshelf was overflowing with a bunch of books that we thought we were going to read at some point, but never ended up getting around to doing so. However, when I picked up the book, I was immediately engaged with the story. That was the first time, and one of the only times, I felt like I was apart of the story. It was as if I could close my eyes and see the Emerald City Castle appear as if it was magic. I finally understood what it was like to be transported to a new land of magic and adventure. My little eight year old mind was blown away and I found myself reading for more than twenty minutes a night. My eyes were glued to each word on the page.
For the rest of elementary school, I never found a book that intrigued me as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had. Though four years later, I found another book. The title was Dorothy Must Die, and from just the title I already wanted to know more. When I started to read, your Dorothy Must Die series took me back when to when I was eight and reading about Glinda the Good Witch, and the Yellow Brick Road. Your twist on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz created a much bigger impact. The land that I loved as a little kid, the land that I could travel to in my mind, was now destroyed in the Dorothy Must Die series. I had such an emotional attachment to Oz that I read the first book of your series in one week. I then read all the prequels and other books in the series, and I’m currently reading the newest book of the series, The End of Oz.
Every time I read this series, I feel a rush of nostalgia. It brings me back to the first book I first loved. Your series made me love reading again. I have a strong passion for the stories you created, and the places you made for my mind to transport to.
With Much Gratitude,