Cover image for Ophie out of Oz
Ophie out of Oz
O'Dell, Kathleen, 1957-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
184 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Fourth-grader Ophelia Peeler has always felt that she was just like Dorothy in Oz, skipping down the yellow brick road, until a move to Oregon, away from her best friend, sends her on a different path.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.6 4.0 78957.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Ophelia Peeler has always considered herself to be a Dorothy-type, a girl destined for a glamorous adventure . . . someday . . . somehow . . . somewhere. And her life in fun and sunny California seemed to have an Oz-like magic. She was in every play, sang "Over the Rainbow" to a packed school auditorium, and she had Lizzy, the best best friend ever.It's not a twister but just her dad's job transfer that has landed Ophie in Oregon-with no rainbow, no glamour, and no Lizzy. Instead, there's just this weird girl, this Brittany Borg, who seems to have stuck herself to Ophie (and who calls her "hey, Peeler").Why oh why can't life ever be like it is in the movies?Kathleen O'Dell offers a funny, empathic tribute to all kids who, in searching for their own Oz, have found the yellow brick road full of bumps, weirdness, and unexpected delights.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

After winningly examining the peculiarities of sixth grade in Agnes Parker... Girl in Progress, O'Dell now turns to the challenges of Ophie Peeler, as she moves from California, midway through fourth grade, to a new school in Oregon. Thanks to Ophie's salesman father, changing schools is nothing new for Ophie, but this time around she misses her best friend and costarring with her in school plays. O'Dell begins with a flurry of fun details: Ophie thinks of herself as Dorothy, wears ruby slippers and names all her animal toys Toto (after she lost her stuffed Scottie, so named, in a move from Tucson to Modesto). The author convincingly develops the grudging friendship Ophie begins with a socially challenged neighbor, Brittany, as well as Ophie's all-consuming desire to be accepted by Merry and Rachel, who not only get the lead roles in the fourth-grade plays but star in a series of TV ads for Merry's father's car business. When a strange turn of events earns Ophie acceptance with "the TV Girls," she sheds Brittany; a rather rushed climax helps Ophie see the light. Proceeding less smoothly than the author's first novel, this narrative tends toward the episodic. But the exchanges between Ophie and her principal (who admits that, just as Ophie is Dorothy, in her "secret heart," she's Rhonda Fleming; Ophie "had no idea who [that] was, but she got the idea") are a highlight, and children attempting to fit into a new school or classroom dynamic will identify with Ophie's feelings. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 8-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Fourth-grader Ophie Peeler's life has changed since her family moved from California to Oregon. She must adjust to a new home, a new school, new friends, a new baby sister, and her salesman father's long absence from home. The story develops slowly as Ophie finds that she's not in the spotlight any more, and her life is very different from the almost magical existence she enjoyed in California. In the end, Ophie learns that even though things change, they can still be good. Anne Marie Lee provides an excellent reading of Kathleen O'Dell's novel (Dial, 2004), building interest by bringing humor and candor to the characters' voices. Girls trying to find their own places in the world will enjoy this journey of self discovery.-Cynthia Grabke, Thayer Public Library, Braintree, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.