After this story aired and was published, The Oklahoma Attorney General backtracked on his statements regarding the ‘review’ of certain books. Read more about it here.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor’s office will be reviewing 51 books, many of them classics, to determine whether they violate the state’s obscenity law.
“When you start burning books and banning books, that can be a problem for our society and for our kids,” Nancy Yaffe, a reading and English teacher for Moore Public Schools, said.
Yaffe has those concerns because of a list of 51 books that will soon be under review at Attorney General John O’Connor’s office.
The story was first reported by The Frontier earlier this week.
“Maybe they’ll read just the blurbs on the back. I think they really need to read the whole books deeply and completely so that they can get a full picture of what the books are about,” Yaffe told News 4.
The list includes classic books like Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
“We are very very careful about what we put in our libraries,” Cherity Pennington, president of the Oklahoma Library Association, said. “I would love for our Attorney General O’Connor to contact Oklahoma Library Association to have a conversation with us about his concerns.”
O’Connor’s office sent KFOR this statement on Wednesday:
“Attorney General O’Connor has received complaints from several concerned individuals. Below are the book titles and authors that have been brought to the General’s attention. The books in question are from all different counties and are being reviewed to determine if they violate the state’s obscenity law. We do not have a timeline for when the review will be complete.”Office of the Attorney General John O’Connor
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister also released a statement Wednesday, saying,
“Parents should have a say in the books that their children have access to. Local school boards are required to have a process in place to review books in school libraries, and state rules clearly place that responsibility in the hands of local school boards. Before AG O’Connor begins arresting teachers and librarians, we hope he would share the complaints he’s received over the last year with OSDE.”Joy Hofmeister, Superintendent
We asked O’Connor’s office if they will be releasing the complaints. Officials told us they will not be releasing the complaints at this time.
“I want my students to love to read. I think they should have a choice, and they will read more if they have a choice,” Yaffe said.
Here is the full list of the books in question:
- A is for Activism written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
- The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families by Rachel E Simon
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
- Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
- Forever… by Judy Blume
- Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julie Scheele
- Be Gay Do Comics by The Nib
- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
- Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Bad For You by Abbi Glines
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
- George by Alex Gino
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
- For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J Lockington
- You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson
- On Thin Ice by Michael Northrop
- The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
- Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer
- House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
- I Was Here by Gayle Forman
- Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
- Whatever by Michel Houellebecq
- Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich and Steven Levenson
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
- Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
- Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- Zenobia by Morten Durr
- Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
- Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M McManus
- Burned by Ellen Hopkins
- Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
- Infandous by Elana K Arnold
- Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Crank by Ellen Hopkins
- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Lord of Flies by William Golding
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
- Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
- By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
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