No Place Like Oz is the first prequel novella of the Dorothy Must Die series that was released electronically on November 12th, 2013, a year before the first novel was released. It is collected in paperback form in Dorothy Must Die Stories along with The Witch Must Burn and The Wizard Returns.
Told from Dorothy Gale's perspective, she celebrates her 16th birthday in Kansas wondering what it would be like if she didn't leave Oz and what if she could go back. After being embarrassed in front of her friends by a old dress given as a gift by Aunt Em, she finds a mysterious gift of Ruby Slippers supposedly from Glinda that allow her to go back by simply saying "There's no place like Oz".
The title is a pun on the 1939 movie's iconic line "There's no place like home" and Dorothy recieving the Ruby Slippers is a reference.
The year that the story takes place is not disclosed, but most likely could be 1941 (two years after 1939) but definitely sometime after 1922 and before 1947 because:
It mentioned that Uncle Henry fought in World War One as Aunt Em remarks about a door knocker from their old farmhouse in Oz that he "bought in Topeka just after [he] came home from the Great War" fought during .
References to Henry Ford's automoblies are made and he lived from 1863-1947.
Technicolor is mentioned in Heart of Tin, it was widely used during 1922-1952.
The fate of Dorothy's parents are mentioned as her mother died in childbirth and her father died in a fatal plow accident.
Events in this novella parallel Ozma of Oz and The Emerald City of Oz, as Dorothy finds out that the Scarecrow is no longer the ruler of Oz being replaced by Ozma and she brings Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to Oz.
Slightly different events occured around The Marvelous Land of Oz's storyline as the Scarecrow doesn't know much about Ozma's past and he doesn't trust her entirely. Also it is revealed that Ozma did in fact banish Glinda (this happens in Ruler of Beasts). In connection however, the Sawhorse makes an appearence.
The concept of Time in Oz is discussed as Dorothy remembers being there for about a month but was only gone a few days in Kansas and Scarecrow says that Glinda has been missing for ten years. Also it has been two years and much time in Oz has passed.
It may have been 25 Oz years as this is stated to be how long the Wizard was sleeping in the Poppy Field after Ozma as Pete woke him up in The Wizard Returns. This likely happened sometime right after Dorothy defeated Ozma.
Sky Island is mentioned even though it did not appear in an Oz book but the novel has Oz connections
Oz's origin story is explained by Ozma who says Lurline and her other fairies were headed somewhere in the world but were loosing energy as they tried to cross the Deadly Desert. Using the the last bit of magic she had, Lurline created a large patch of grass and was able to find water restoring the fairies energy. Feeling relieved, Lurline pricked her finger and one drop of blood created the rest of Oz, including the Yellow Brick Road. Needing to leave the new land with the other fairies, she left her favorite daughter behind to look after and take care of it.
Ozma however isn't sure if Lurline's daughter was her grandmother or great or great-great.
It is revealed that Ozma has fairy wings.
Dorothy ironically thinks of Ozma as being similar to Shirley Temple as she thinks that she could simply "tap dance off a cliff". This line might be either an intentional or unitentional reference made by the author to when the famed actress played Ozma.
In this version, Dorothy is stated to have been 14 and is currently 16 two years later. In the canonical books, it is suggested that she is only 11-12 physically. Having her as this age might be a reference to Judy Garland being 16 when she was cast in the film.