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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Cannabis shop soon to open in Witset

Indigenous Bloom shop to be followed by cannabis cultivation facility in closed down sawmill

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

Orphaned bear cub named after Snowbirds Capt. Jenn Casey to be cared for in Smithers

Neighbours assist in capture of Tappen Triplets now in care of Northern Lights Wildlife Society

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Still a lot of work to do to fully connect regional district

Draft strategy shows dependence on on single fibre optic cable route, poor cellular service on roads

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Most Read