On this day in 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state. Here we look at some books that take place in, or were written by people from the Sooner state. (Annotations are from WorldCat, except where noted.)
The Outsiders by SE Hinton. The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parent's death and their quest for identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society. Hinton was born in, and still lives in Tulsa.
The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld. Upon moving to Bixby, Oklahoma, fifteen-year-old Jessica Day learns that she is one of a group of people who have special abilities that help them fight ancient creatures living in an hour hidden at midnight; creatures that seem determined to destroy Jess. The first in the Midnighter's series, follow it with Touching Darkness.
Heist Society by Ally Carter. A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop's father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector. Carter is Oklahoma born and raised, and still lives there.
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. When her family moves to Oklahoma from California, high school sophomore Lissy uses her ability to see other people's auras to try to uncover and stop the sinister activities of a teacher at her new school. Follow it with Platinum.
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. In the last months of high school, charismatic eighteen-year-old Sutter Keely lives in the present, staying drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when starts working to boost the self-confidence of a classmate, Aimee. Tharp lives in Midwest City.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The story of a farm family's Depression-era journey from the Dustbowl of Oklahoma to the California migrant labor camps in search of a better life.
Intertwined by Gena Showwalter. Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him: one can time travel, one can raise the dead, one can tell the future, and one can possess another human, and then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Follow it with Unraveled.
All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky by Joe R. Lansdale. When the devastation wrought by endless dust storms in 1930s Oklahoma makes orphans of Jack, his schoolmate Jane, and her brother Tony, they take the truck of a dead man and set out to find a new start.
Hereafter by Tana Hudson. Amelia, long a ghost, forms a strong bond with eighteen-year-old Joshua, who nearly drowned where she did and who awakens in her long-forgotten senses and memories even as Eli, a spirit, tries to draw her away. Follow it with Arise.
What are your Oklahoma must reads?
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