Segerstrom All-School Read

Dorothy Must Die depicts Dorothys classic checkered blue and white dress and white shoes.

(Image courtesy of Daniel Ramirez Garcia)

“Dorothy Must Die” depicts Dorothy’s classic checkered blue and white dress and white shoes.

Daniel Ramirez

Segerstrom students will be participating in an all-school read. Every student and teacher will be given a copy of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige to read over the summer. They will be tested on it with an essay during homeroom next year, which will not be a surprise to most students. The all-school read is a Segerstrom tradition. Last year, the school read Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, and the previous year, the school read Refugee by Alan Gratz. 

Dorothy Must Die retells the classic Wizard of Oz story with a unique twist; instead of the Wicked Witch, Dorothy is the villain in this tale. The protagonist is Amm Gumm, another girl from Kansas, who has been trained and selected by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to undo Dorothy’s achievements in the original story. Gumm must take the Tin Woodman’s heart, the Scarecrow’s brain, and the Lion’s Courage. Finally, like the title, Dorothy must die.

This take, which essentially blurs the line between good and evil, even switching it completely, is not unfamiliar. In the Disney live-action film, Maleficent, the writers similarly took a class tale and wrote it from the perspective of the villain. Other popular books including the series Villains by Serena Valentino, Unbirthday by Liz Braswell, Sea Witch by Sarah Henning, and more do this as well. 

Although this novel is set in this fantasy world, the language the characters use is very modern, and there is even some use of profanity. 

“I didn’t know what was worse: to have your shot and screw it up, or to never have had a shot in the first place,” Paige writes in Dorothy Must Die. 

Overall, this book seems engaging and interesting. Segerstrom students should definitely give Dorothy Must Die a try.