The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.
Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.
The Emerald Slippers of Oz, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also available for your reading enjoyment.
The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.
All are available in both paperback and Kindle.
Nomes of Oz
Tails of Oz
The Emerald Slippers of Oz
Magician of Oz
Shadow Demon of Oz
Family of Oz
The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu
The Wonderful World of Oz
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Magician of Oz Trilogy
Volume 1: Magician of Oz:
New characters and creatures abound in the old Land of Oz while many of the old characters we know and love make their own appearances in this newest tale of fantasy, adventure, truth and friendship in a familiar, yet not so familiar world of Oz.
There's the Leader of the Sycamores, the Gnarled Scrub Oak, the Flowering Plum Tree and the Council of Trees. All of these magical and strange characters prove quite the challenge for a young magician who finds himself in a strange and wonderful land.
Of course, we also get to meet Dorothy and Ozma, Glinda and the Tin Woodman, as well as Toto, Bungle the Glass Cat, Billina the Hen and numerous other beloved characters from L.Frank Baums' original tale of wonder and magic.
Volume 2: Shadow Demon of Oz
It was in the early month of Spring when the old humpback trunk of O.Z. Diggs, the original Wizard of Oz was opened by his great grandson, Jamie Diggs, revealing a magical heritage lurking within. Following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, a young boy named Jamie pursued the ways of magic and soon found himself transported to the magical Land of Oz where, alongside Dorothy, he faced his greatest fears and the fearsome Army of Trees in defense of the Tin Woodman. Now the young magician is called to return to the Land of Oz to take his place as the new Royal Magician of Princess Ozma; Ruler and Sovereign of Oz. And for his first Royal Command, Princess Ozma sends her Royal Magician and his best friend Buddy off to battle the Evil Shadow Demon and save the Hyups of Mount Munch.
Volume 3: Family of Oz
It has been nearly 6 months since young Jamie Diggs returned from the Land of Oz with his best friend Buddy after defeating an ancient Evil while serving as Princess Ozma's new Royal Magician. Now, he is called to return once more and take his rightful place alongside Her Majesty; Princess Ozma and Glinda; Good Witch and Ruler of the South Quadling Country, as well as Princess Dorothy. Before the Royal Magician can return to Oz however, he finds himself on a fantastic journey down the Wabash River and a stop in Huntington, West Virginia for a taste of the legendary Stewart's Original Hot Dogs and Root Beer. Then it’s on to attend the annual gathering of their fellow magicians, known as the Magi-Fest and a tumultuous Close-Up Magic Competition. Soon, the Family Diggs, Hank and Buddy find themselves transported back to Oz by way of The Duke's Magic Box. The only problem they find is that each one of them now find themselves somewhere in Oz... but alone! As the Family Diggs, Hank and Buddy journey along the roadways, riverways and even above the Land of Oz alone, each one struggles to discover what Love and family means to them and each learns along the way that Love and family have been with them all along. Aided by Her Majesty, the Queen of the Field Mice and Jamie's wayward, living decks of playing cards, as well as Buddy and the Cowardly Lion, the Royal Magician of Oz soon teaches Princess Ozma the true meaning of family and Love. In a final and most fantastical battle alongside the Munchkin River, Jamie Diggs and his new army of friends battle Cobbler the Dog, a new and most mechanical pet of Tik-Tok, the Mechanical Army of Oz and an Unwilling Villain in an epic struggle of Good against Evil.
James C. Wallace II, originally a native of West Virginia, currently lives in Terre Haute, Indiana with his wife Amanda. They have been married more than 28 years, with a herd of 5 children and 13 grandchildren. His background covers over 26 years in children's education, including experience working for the world's largest children's museum; The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, where he was the Planetarium Educator for SpaceQuest Planetarium. In addition to children's books about Oz, he is recognized by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a leading developer of web-based educational games, educational exhibit design, curriculum development and implementation. He is also involved in the DiscoverHover program, which is an educational program developing and utilizing hovercraft in a unique and fun way. He now serves as the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma, Sovereign Ruler of Oz and endeavors to fulfill Her royal command to tell the tale of Her newest Royal Magician to the children of the Great Outside.
As usual, I find myself at a local auction barn which has played a substantial role in my writings about the Land of Oz. And as always, Oz shows up, though usually, it's movie related.
This time, the Oz of old, being in the form of books turned up.
I was most pleased to purchase the Royal Book of Oz as I did not have that one. I think it may be a 1st edition, though further research is required.
Although this book is shown as being written by L. Frank Baum, it actually is more likely the work of Ruth Plumly Thompson, the successor to Mr. Baum as the Royal Historian of Oz. It was released in 1921, 2 years following L. Frank Baum's death, though it is suggested that he wrote most of it and Ruth Plumly Thompson expanded on his work. Who can say?
These two books are reprints from early stories by L. Frank Baum and were printed in 1939 in response to the then just released MGM Wizard of Oz movie everyone knows so well.
All three are in good condition and I am very pleased to add them to my collection. I wonder what I'll find next at the auction???
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
In mid-September, the wonderful town of Chesterton, Indiana hosts an incredible Wizard of Oz Festival and this year's festival was as wonderful as ever. I spoke last week about my first day there. Now, we take a look at day two on Sunday, September 16th, 2012.
Day two was as beautiful a day as day one, which is highly unusual for the Oz festival. Normally, one of the three days has rain... but not this year. Crowds were good and despite an odd repositioning of authors that gave us some concerns, foot traffic was acceptable, though next year, I hope to be back on the main drag (so to speak).
On this day, there was a wonderful puppet show called "Bob Wall's Wizard of Oz Puppet show".
This was, in my opinion, one of the best parts of this year's Wizard of Oz festival. The kids were enthralled by the performance and every show was packed with kids and adults who seemed genuinely captivated by the marrionettes, all of which were very old and highly detailed.
I hope the folks at Chesterton bring this show back next year. I thought it worked very well and was a wonderful experience for young and old alike.
As usual, the Tin Woodman was in tall attendance,
as well as more Dorothy's than you could shake a stick at!
It was great to see many old friends at Oz, including Walter Krueger, who has one of the biggest Oz collections imaginable. I consider him to be a great guy and a good friend who I always look forward to seeing at every Oz festival I attend.
The closing ceremony was, as always, well attended.
As always, whenever John Fricke and Margarette Peligrinni (original Munchkin from the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz movie), get together, the kibbitzing gets going! Those two just love teasing each other and it's easy to see that there is genuine freindship between these two, as well as everyone associated with Oz.
It was also announced who had won the Good Witch vs. Bad Witch comnpetition, which had been the theme of this year's festival. Of course, Good always wins out over Bad,
although the Wicked Witch of the West vowed to return next year and defeat Glinda!
Finally, the festival ended with a rousing sing-along of "We're off to see the Wizard!" in memory of Karl Slover, another Munchkin who passed away last November. I was fortunate enough to have had the honor of knowing Karl and like everyone else, his absence was keenly felt.
After the closing ceremonies, everyone affiliated with the festival gathered for a wrap party. I was quite concerned for the sturdiness of the stage, but it seemed to survive the gathering of Oz.
So now, I wait another year for the next festival in Chesterton. I'm looking forward to it since I'll have a new Oz book, co-authored by myself and my wife Amanda. This new book, The Emerald Slippers of Oz was actually Amanda's idea and I'm finding her to be an outstanding writer.
For now, we seek out other Oz events to attend and count the days until next September... and Oz!!!!
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
My name is James C. Wallace II and I am the Royal Liaison of Oz.
I was born one day short of the 41st anniversary of the passing of Lyman Frank Baum, the kind gentleman who wrote The Wizard of Oz over a hundred years ago.
I grew up in a loving household where my parents read to me on a daily basis and taught me the joy of reading. Many a night I recall sitting in our front room as my mother would read from the many books of Oz and my father would act out some of the odd scenes pictured within.
As I grew up, my love for reading never diminished and my parents support for my love of reading never wavered. In addition, I was fortunate enough to encounter a number of mentors who would shape my view of the world and how I would find my way in it.
In particular was Captain Kangaroo, otherwise known as Bob Keeshan. His unique program was instrumental in shaping my mind towards the joy of learning.
Another was Clyde Crashcup, an odd cartoon character who inspired me to become a scientist and educator. Despite what many psychologists would have you believe, television did not rot my brain. In fact, my fondest memories of childhood were of Saturday mornings in front of the TV machine watching the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and eating Captain Crunch with Crunchberries cereal.
Another mentor was a NASA scientist; Gene Shoemaker, who, by correspondence inspired me to be an astronomer. This was during the late 60's and early 70's when NASA was king of the hill, so to speak.
The most important mentor was my father, who inspired me to try everything and learn from those experiences. He got me involved in Toastmasters International and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Those two organizations were directly responsible for much of my success as a public speaker and educator.
Fast forward to the mid-80's and my love of reading is now manifested in the lives of my 5 children as I read countless books to them, including the 14 books of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.
During this time, I am also completing my college education in Physics and running a public observatory teaching children about the night sky. This time is where the seeds of working for children's issues began for me.
Following my tenure at Indiana State University, I took a position as Planetarium Educator for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
By the way, if I haven't mentioned it before, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the finest children's museum anywhere in the world. If you've visited there, you'll certainly agree. If you haven't, please make the time to do so. You'll not be disappointed. Be sure to visit SpaceQuest Planetarium at the museum. It's the best part of the museum.
Anyway, during my time there, I made it a point to be a mentor to youth volunteers and thus found my calling. To impact the lives of children in a positive manner is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. It was during this period that I became involved with junior high school children in the inner city region of Indianapolis.
One day, while engaged in testing some educational software about Geography for 6th graders, I encountered quite a number of children who could not read, literally. It's one thing to suggest that there are kids in America who cannot read. It's quite another to come face-to-face with them. I found myself at the end of the day sitting in my car in the parking lot shaking with remorse and resolving to do something about what I had just witnessed. I then spent the next year in various teachers lounges having lunch with teachers and trying to understand how they could allow a child to go through school without mastering the art of reading. Although some teachers cared deeply about their students, many cared only for their paycheck and thought little of the impact their negligence and disregard for the future of the next generation caused. This was reinforced by a school administration hamstrung by budget concerns and state-mandated test scores.
As a result, today's child has lost the art of reading. No longer do children sit down to read a book, to linger within the world of fiction and fantasy. Nowadays, kids are glued to the computer screen and read in snippets. In fact, with the advent of text messages, most kids now understand a truncated language that would have Daniel Webster spinning in his grave.
Only in the last few years has the Harry Potter effect taken hold and inspired kids to pick up the traditional book and immerse themselves in another world. Despite this momentary reawakening, most kids still reach for the cel phone and communicate with their thumbs. Most kids would have trouble taking the time to sit down with a good book and giving themselves over to the realm of fantasy. They prefer the instant gratification that comes with a world overflowing with technology.
The book has become a lost art, and with that thought in mind, I chose to reinvigorate the original dream of L. Frank Baum.
In writing about young Jamie Diggs, the great grandson of O.Z. Diggs, the original Wizard of Oz, my most sincere desire is that children will pick up my book and rediscover the joy of reading. If only a single child comes to understand and appreciate the joy of reading, then I have achieved my dream. If, by writing about this wonderful land and all of its unique characters, I can inspire children and introduce them to the joy of reading, even if it be only a single child, I will have made an impact that reaches far beyond my own lifetime.
To this end, I have committed all my efforts towards creating an environment where kids will want to pick up that book and put aside that cel phone for a few moments. If I can serve as a mentor promoting Literacy to our youth, then I will have realized my dream.