John Oliver’s Mike Pence parody book among most ‘challenged’ works

The book describes the life of the Pence family’s gay bunny

This cover image released by Chronicle Books shows “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” written by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller. (Chronicle Books via AP)

Not everyone was amused by the John Oliver send-up of a picture book by the wife and daughter of Vice-President Mike Pence.

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” in which the Pence’s family bunny turns out to be gay, was among the books most objected to in 2018 at the country’s public libraries. The bestselling parody ranked No. 2 on the list of “challenged” books compiled by the American Library Association, with some complaining about its gay-themed content and political viewpoint.

Oliver’s book, credited to staff writer Jill Twiss, was a response to the Pences’ “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” and to the family’s conservative social viewpoint. The Pences themselves did not publicly object, and daughter Charlotte Pence has even said she purchased a copy of the “Last Week Tonight” book, noting that proceeds were going to charities for AIDS and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.

The library association announced Monday that Alex Gino’s “George,” a middle-grade novel about a transgender child, was No. 1 on its list. Others included Angie Thomas’ bestseller about a teen girl whose friend is shot by police, “The Hate U Give” (drug use, profanity, “anti-cop” bias); and Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” series (same-sex couple, “encouraging disruptive behaviour”).

The report also includes Raina Telgemeier’s “Drama,” Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why,” Sherman Alexie’s prize-winning “”The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s “This One Summer” and Judy Schachner’s “Skippyjon Jones” series. Books included on the list in previous years range from “To Kill a Mockingbird” to the “Harry Potter” series.

The ALA usually lists 10 books, but included 11 this year because two tied for 10th place: Gayle E. Pitman’s and Kristyna Litten’s “This Day in June,” and David Leviathan’s “Two Boys Kissing,” both cited for LGBTQIA+ content and both among those burned last October in Orange City, Iowa, by the director of a “pro-family” group called Rescue the Perishing.

Deborah Caldwell Stone, interim director of the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said the protests from parents and other local residents about gay content reflected a “pushback” as “writers work to be more inclusive of underrepresented or marginalized communities.”

The list is part of the association’s “State of America’s Libraries Report” and comes at the start of National Library Week, which begins Wednesday. The ALA defines a “challenge” as a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.” The list is based on news reports and on accounts submitted from libraries, although the ALA believes many challenges go unreported. The association tracked 347 challenges last year, compared to 356 in 2017.

“The number has been fairly steady over the past few years,” Stone said.

The ALA did not have a number for books actually pulled from library shelves or moved to an adult section.

READ MORE: Bernie Sanders calls Trump a racist before Apollo event

READ MORE: Trump says having a dog would feel ‘a little phoney’ to him

____

Hillel Italie, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hardy Bay Seniors’ Centre doubling down to build community during COVID-19

The volunteer-run group is cooking meals and checking in on isolated seniors

Three weekly direct flights from Port Hardy to Vancouver starting June 1

Direct between Bella Bella and Vancouver not resuming at this time

UPDATE: Local taxi company applying to opertate north island bus route

Waivin’ Flags Taxi wants to operate Route 5 between Cambpell River and Port Hardy

Change in service: Port Hardy is switching from bi-weekly garbage pick up to weekly schedule

The cost for the weekly garbage pick up service is an additional $30.12 annually.

Cancelling bus service between Campbell River and Port Hardy will compromise health access, region warns

Mount Waddington Health Network says transportation primary factor for rural health access

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Most Read