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The Best Oklahoma Kids Books

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Out of the Dust
Written by Karen Hesse
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 11-14

Out of the Dust joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

“Dust piles up like snow across the prairie. . . .”

A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo’s life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gone. Her father can’t talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better – playing the piano – is impossible with her wounded hands.

To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma – and in the surprising landscape of her own heart.

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Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a True Story)
Written by Daniel Nayeri
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls “Daniel”) stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much. <p/>But Khosrou’s stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy.and further back to the fields near the river Aras, where rain-soaked flowers bled red like the yolk of sunset burst over everything, and further back still to the Jasmine-scented city of Isfahan. <p/>We bounce between a school bus of kids armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs to the heroines and heroes of Khosrou’s family’s past, who ate pastries that made people weep and cry “Akh, Tamar!” and touched carpets woven with precious gems. <p/>Like Scheherazade in a hostile classroom, Daniel weaves a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. And it is (a true story). <p/>It is Daniel’s.

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Dreamland Burning
Written by Jennifer Latham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-99

A compelling dual-narrated novel that asks, how far have we really come with race relations in the last 100 years? Now in paperback. When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal, century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past… and the present. Nearly 100 years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against African Americans and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns. Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, this “unflinching, superbly written story” (Kirkus) brings the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 to blazing life, raising important questions about the complex state of U.S. race relations.

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Someday is Now
Written by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich & illustrated by Jade Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Someday Is Now tells the inspirational story of the celebrated civil rights leader, Clara Luper, who led one of the first lunch-counter sit-ins in America. How will you stand against something you know is wrong? One way is to follow the lessons of bravery taught by civil rights pioneers like Clara Luper. As a child, Clara saw how segregation affected her life. Her journey famously led her to Oklahoma, where she and her students desegregated stores and restaurants that were closed to African-Americans. With courage and conviction, Clara Luper led young people to “do what had to be done.” This moving title includes additional information on Clara Luper’s extraordinary life, her lessons of nonviolent resistance, and a glossary of key civil rights people and terms.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma
Written by Tammi Sauer & illustrated by Victoria Hutto
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This popular holiday book is now available in a sturdy board edition for very young children. The original text has been simplified to focus on the merry lyrics in this fun take on the classic Christmas song. It’s a happy, festive way for families to celebrate the place where they live.

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  • Summer of the Monkeys - Fourteen-year-old Jay tries to recover a group of wily monkeys escaped from a circus train in the hopes the reward will buy him the gun and pony he has so long wanted.

  • Jingle Dancer - The affirming story of how a contemporary Native American girl turns to her family and community to help her dance find a voice.

  • Twist - A group of gifted kids must band together to save their town and a fantasy world from horror-story monsters come to life in this imaginative middle-grade novel. Eli has a dream. He’s going to be the next Stephen King, and he’s just created his best monster yet! Neha has a secret. Her notebook is filled with drawings of a fantasy world called Forest Creeks, and it’s become inhabited by wonderful imaginary creatures. But her new friends are in danger . . . Court has a gift, both for finding trouble and for stopping it. And when she accidentally ends up with one of Neha’s drawings, she quickly realizes that the monsters raiding Forest Creeks are coming from Eli’s stories. When these three creative kids come together, they accidentally create a doorway from Forest Creeks into the real world, and now every monster that Eli ever imagined has been unleashed upon their town!

  • Two Roads - In 1932, twelve-year-old Cal must stop being a hobo with his father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.

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Good Night Oklahoma
Written by Adam Gamble & illustrated by Mark Jasper, Joe Veno, and Adam Gamble
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Oklahoma explores Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, the State Capitol Building, the Oklahoma State Fair, the SkyDance Bridge, the Tulsa Zoo, the Stafford Air & Space Museum, and more. From Route 66 to the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees to the Tallgrass Prairie Reserve, little Cowboys and Sooners fans alike will marvel at all this state has to offer. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting themes. Many of North America’s most beloved regions are artfully celebrated in these board books designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for North America’s natural and cultural wonders. Each book stars a multicultural group of people visiting the featured area’s attractions as rhythmic language guides children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of each place. Little Okies tour the state of Oklahoma in this eduacational board book, all while being lulled to sleep. From the prairies, to the big cities, young readers will visit all of the best landmarks this state has to offer.

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