There's a lot of stories to tell about Oklahoma. Some have been told in most of the nation's best selling books. And a few have been adapted into award-winning films.

But some of Oklahoma's most prominent books have ended up on various banned books lists across the country. Despite these bans, the books are still beneficial to readers and are ones that everyone should read, especially Oklahomans.

Why are some of these books banned?

In 2021, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law Bill 1775, dictating what educators in the state can and can't teach. Outlined in the bill, the lessons cannot teach that "an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously" or that "any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex."

According to an article from The Week, this law is making Oklahoma educators afraid of teaching one of the state's most prolific books, and one that was recently made into an Academy Award-winning movie.

Here Are the Five Oklahoma Books Everyone Should Read

We looked through some of Oklahoma's most popular books and these are the ones that we believe are essential reads for each Oklahoman. Most of them tell the complicated history of the state while others focus on the strong spirit of Oklahoma's people.

No. 5 - "Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding... Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis" by Sam Anderson

If you ever wondered about the amazing evolution of Oklahoma City, then you'll want to pick up "Boom Town." It's a fascinating read about Oklahoma City's beginnings in the land run into it's present day sprawling metropolis. Oklahoma City continues to rise as one of the best cities in the nation, and "Boom Town" looks into the heart of this.

No. 4 - "Where The Red Fern Grows" - Wilson Rawls

Oklahomans will no doubt remember reading "Where The Red Fern Grows" in grade school. Set in northeast Oklahoma, it's a story of love and loss between a young boy and his two dogs. Older Oklahomans should definitely take the time to reread this book as adults.

No. 3 - "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck

In 2023, The LA Times listed "The Grapes of Wrath" as one of the 15 most banned books in America. Set in Oklahoma during the Great Depression, "The Grapes of Wrath" it's the story of a family that migrates from California to Oklahoma seeking out the "American Dream."

No. 2 - "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

When she was just 15 Oklahoman S.E. Hinton started writing her best seller "The Outsiders." Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, "The Outsiders" tells the story of two rival gangs of white Americans divided by their socioeconomic backgrounds and the heroic story of friendship and belonging. The American Library Association listed "The Outsiders" as no. 38 of most challenged books from 1990-1999.

READ MORE: Visit 'The Outsiders' House and Museum, Oklahoma's Most Famous Movie Location

No. 1 - "Killers Of The Flower Moon" - David Grann

"Killers Of The Flower Moon" tells the dark side of Oklahoma's history. It focuses on a string of murders among the Osage Nation in the 1920s near Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was recently adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert DeNiro. Although it's not banned, Oklahoma educators are afraid to add the book to their curriculum.

READ MORE: The True Story of Oklahoma's Most Notorious Serial Killer

Commonly Used Phrases That Are Historically Racist

You'd have to look long and far to find an example of someone using these as they were originally intended today. As they were first coined to oppress, they've become universally accepted as ordinary, everyday greetings and phrases in this modern day.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Oklahoma's Most Liberal Cities

Politics in Oklahoma seem to make headlines every election cycle. We're known as "the most conservative state" in the nation, but the reality doesn't always reflect that. By the statistics, when you see how voters vote, the Sooner State is split pretty evenly right up the middle-ish. While every county is majority Republican, here are the "most liberal" cities in the state.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

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