The Scarecrow of Oz was chiefly a way for Baum to introduce readers to another one of his book series (The Sea Fairies and Sky Island) to his more lucrative Oz readership. The story itself is a bit uneven, but is easily digested by younger readers as separate segments can be treated as stand-alone stories with a single unifying theme of moving Cap'n Bill and Trot from California to Oz.
Synopsis: Cap'n Bill and Trot (a relationship which probably would not find its way into modern kiddie lit) go for a recreational row and get caught in a whirlpool. The whirlpool transports them to a fairy land which they escape with the help of an orc (a magical flying creature, not the nasties in Tolkein) and some magical shrinking berries. They spend a little bit of time in the Land of Mo (another Oz series) before escaping once again with recurring character Button-Bright (from the Road to Oz), the help of some adventuresome birds and magical growing berries. They land in Jinxland, a semi-autonomous region within Oz, where they accidentally insert themselves into the nuptial politics of the local ruler, an elderly but wealthy courtesan, the daughter of a deposed king, and the son of another deposed king. The three characters are unable to do anything other than get into serious trouble with a local witch and are eventually bailed out by the combination of the Scarecrow's planning, a sudden re-appearance of the original orc with an army of his friends, and a bit of lucky timing. After restoring the king's daughter to her rightful throne and true love, they make their way back to the Emerald City where they meet everyone. The story abruptly ends at this point - the reader can assume Capn' Bill and Trot have found a home in Oz although the story's beginning did not make it seem as if Trot's family was either lost or worth leaving.