"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."
~ L. Frank Baum (1856-1919), American author, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
Using cutting-edge technology called DHI (Disney Host Interactive), the Disney Imagineers capture the images and voices of Finn Whitman, a young Orlando teen, along with four other kids, then transform them into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are thrilling and scary when Finn finds himself transported into his DHI form at night. Is it a dream or reality? Finn and his four DHI friends must do battle with the evil witch, Maleficent, and her Overtakers in order to save Walt Disney World.
Zita the Spacegirl: Far from Home by Ben Hatke
After pushing a button she probably shouldn't have, brave young explorer Zita must travel to a faraway planet to rescue her friend Joseph from aliens. Once there, Zita befriends some of the planet's strange (and occasionally adorable) inhabitants and recruits them to help her journey to the castle where Joseph is being held. While the fantasy land of Oz isn't exactly an alien planet, Zita's and Dorothy's stories have a good bit in common -- richly imagined landscapes and characters, menacing villains, and even a slick inventor who may (or may not) have Zita's best interests at heart.
A Boy and His Bot by Daniel H. Wilson
In this "campy down-the-robot-hole adventure" (Publishers Weekly), brainy and bashful sixth-grader Code Lightfall tumbles into a hole during a school field trip to an ancient mound...and finds himself in an underground world populated almost entirely by mechanical beings. The only other human in Mekhos, as it turns out, is Code's grandfather, who had originally crowned himself king of Mekhos but is now being held captive by the evil sentient robot Immortalis. If Code can't execute some sort of daring rescue, his grandfather will be killed -- and both Mekhos and Earth will be destroyed.