Reviews

"Bob Smith is one of those rare individuals whose interests and expertise span a vast range of fields. In fact, it’s this very breadth that gives The Way of Oz its incredible power. The book is part history, part biography, part guide to life, part literary criticism, part how-to manual, part travelogue, and part anything else you can possibly imagine. I’m in awe of how Bob does it."

— Jeffrey Buller,
Dean and Professor of History, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University,
and author of Best Practices in Faculty Evaluation

 

"I've been studying things like optimism, courage, wisdom, character, and empathy for years, but my travels in this book with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion gave me enjoyment and insights that differ from what I learned from the research literature. The Way of Oz is a must-read for anyone working in the helping professions."

— Joseph S. Renzulli,
Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology, The University of Connecticut,
and winner of the 2009 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation In Education

 

"Read this book and more important give it to your children. Bob Smith in this mind-altering book explores the nature of personal fulfillment, success, and humanity through the tenets of the Wizard of Oz stories: learning, loving, serving, and focusing on the future. What a superb springboard for exploring the nature of who we are and who we can become."

— Dorothy Sisk,
Conn Chair in Gifted Education, Lamar University

 

"From this foundation, Smith offers a road map to learning, loving, serving, humility, and a focus on the future. He offers a way of looking at one's life based on the qualities shown in the Oz characters, helping to imprint their image in one's mind in connection with one's own self-development."
— Angie Mangino,
Journalist and book reviewer

 

"As a man-of-faith my prime self-rule is, 'I keep what I have by giving it away!' The author of this outstanding text and I are like-minded!

"Easily this outstanding text is the most provocative, the most outstanding, and the wisest text that I have read in a good many years! But:

"Arguably this outstanding book enhancing, enlightening, and empowering us, all of us, by keeping green the memory of the polymath (L. Frank Baum, 1856-1919) who gifted us, all of us, with, The Wizard of Oz.

"As a man-of-faith, if I was asked, "What is the major empowering message of this outstanding text" I would respond, "Service; specifically volunteer service," as I have done in my teaching, Aspects of Cardiac Arrhythmias, as I continue to mentor physicians (American College of Physicians ACPIMpact Newsletter) in training."

— Colonel Josh Grossman, M.D.,
Fellow of the American College of Physicians, U.S. Army Medical Corps (retired)

 

"What makes this book interesting, readable, attractive, and what is most important, useful, is the simplicity of its premise: take a well known work of literature and apply its themes to everyday modern life and 'Bob's-your-uncle'. In other words, in this case, follow the yellow brick road of your own life towards whatever your emerald city is; be accompanied along the way by your scarecrow, tin man, and lion and as a result, maybe wisdom (learning), heart (loving), and courage (serving) will find you and be an important part of your life thereafter.

"Smith discusses Learning, Loving, and Serving in separate sections in his book. In the section on Learning, for example, Learning is introduced as an integrated subject connected to Reading, Writing, Communicating, and Traveling and each of those topics is dealt with in a chapter length section. In the chapter on Learning and Writing, Smith discusses Note Taking, Journals, and Formal Writing, which include the proper use of references; he even explains and warns against plagiarism. The textbook dryness of the subject matter is avoided throughout by the wonderful illustrations of Dusty Higgins, an award winning illustrator and graphic artist. In addition Smith has made his even more intellectually attractive to modern students by imbedding in the text quick response barcode icons and URLs that link the reader to a series of videos related to the substance and messages of the content at hand."

— John Cowans,
University, college, and school English teacher for over forty years

"The road to success is long, and even longer ifthere is no one to show us the way. The Way of Oz: A Guide to Wisdom, Heart, and Courage is a read of leadership and success as Robert V. Smith advises readers on finding their own path down the yellow brick road, taking notes from Oz Creator L. Frank Baum. Uplifting and positive thinking with illustrations all throughout, The Way of Oz is a choice and much recommended addition to any motivational collection."

Midwest Book Review

 

"The Way of Oz is not your typical self-help book as part of it is a biography of the creation of Oz. The other half focuses on the life lessons that can be learned through the Oz characters and their actions. Actually, it is less of a self-help and more of a companion to the Oz series. The Way of Oz was a delight to read and has sparked my interest in finally reading the Oz series."

Billy Burgess, book and media reviewer,
gave a "great" rating (highest on a five-point scale)

 

"Certainly, there's no better author for such a title as Smith, a man who's led quite the storied career during his four decades in academia. Through his reflections, Smith developed the core of The Way of Oz. Therein, Oz's main characters each possess a characteristic that is essential for success on the Yellow Brick Road of Life. The message in The Way of Oz is sure to reach many around the world, a testament to the timelessness of the classic film and the book series. By placing learning, loving and serving at the forefront, one is bound to find many others traveling a similar route on life's Yellow Brick Road."

Rachel Pierce,
senior editor at Texas Tech University

 

"Smith, provost and senior vice president of Texas Tech, has intertwined the works of classic children's author and entrepreneur L. Frank Baum into a life guide for college-bound young adults. Thoroughly researched, ... The Way of Oz is broken into sections including 'Learning,' 'Loving,' 'Serving,' 'Focus on the Future,' and 'Humility.' Smith uses the personality traits of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz characters Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow to inspire students to strive for habits and lifestyle choices that will lead to achievement in life."

Adrienne Amborski,
Voices of Youth Advocates

 

"The Way Of Oz is very well written for advanced readers. While the book takes a unique approach on The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, it ... would generally appeal to adults working with teens."

Gwen Amborski,
Voices of Youth Advocates

"This book is ... full of life lessons that can reach across nearly any curriculum. It's not merely a textbook, however. There are a number of interactive codes that provide links to videos from various experts who add much to the chapters contained within this book. The author also provides numerous examples of Baum's successes and failures, and how his overall belief in his dreams, as well as his own courage, heart, brains and belief in his future, plus a dream for the future of mankind, helped Baum to live the way of Oz, and do it well. As a footnote, the new movie 'Oz: The Great & Powerful' may soon expose a new generation of readers to Smith's work, as well as seeking out the other books Baum wrote so many years ago where he continued the Oz story. I hope those books are still in print, or at least available online. The Oz legacy should continue, somewhere."

— Ann Flynt,
Rambles.net

"This is a rather unique book. ...The book tells of lessons in life people would do well to learn and practice. This includes a love of reading, mastering public speaking skills, methods of learning, loving, and other life skills and attributes. As the book progresses many references were made to Baum's life as well as to his seminal book and the movie based on that book. I learned a great deal about Baum, The (Wonderful) Wizard of Oz, and the fact that the book has 13 sequels. The life lessons are timely and relevant as well."

— John L. Hoh,
BookIdeas.com