Angelica Shirley Carpenter writes biographies for young people and older readers, too. Her subjects are authors—Frances Hodgson Burnett, L. Frank Baum, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lewis Carroll, and Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Angelica speaks for teachers, librarians, writers, book clubs, students, bookstore groups, and other audiences. Her photographs appear in her books and in her illustrated talks.

Angelica lives with her husband in Fresno, California. A self-proclaimed Oz nut, she is a past president of the International Wizard of Oz Club. In her former life she was a librarian, the founding curator of the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature at California State University, Fresno. She likes to read, travel, shop, cook, watch movies, and listen to rock and roll (not all at the same time).


Upcoming Talks

Join Angelica at these events:

See Angelica's past talks calendar.

Watch various video recordings and interviews


Coming in 2024

When L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he created an American myth that has endured the test of time. Echoes of Dorothy and her friends are everywhere: popular television shows often have an Oz episode, novelists borrow character types and echo familiar scenes, and every media—from Broadway to The Muppets—has some variation or continuation of Baum’s work. This collection of essays follows Baum’s archetypal characters as they’ve changed over time in order to examine what those changes mean in relation to Oz, American culture and basic human truths. Essays also serve as a bridge between academia and fandom, with contributors representing a cross-section of Oz scholarship from backgrounds including The International Wizard of Oz Club and the Children’s Literature Association.

Angelica's chapter discusses Oz's main villain, the Nome King (Baum altered the spelling of "gnome" to make it easier for children to read), who rules underground and tries repeatedly to take over the Emerald City. Angelica compares Baum's Nome King to the character in the movie, Return to Oz, and to the villain in Danielle Paige's harrowing modern continuation of the Oz series, Dorothy Must Die.
The book, to be published by McFarland, will be launched at CharlOz, a national Oz convention to be held September 27-29, 2024 at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, hosted by the energetic Dina Massachi, the book's editor. For information see