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

Alberni Valley fire departments hold car wash to raise funds for Wounded Warriors Run

Come out Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn more about the run

67th year for Port Alberni’s men’s open bonspiel

Public is welcome to cheer on teams throughout the weekend

Alberni Valley residents vent anger over proposed Beaver Creek cannabis project

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District grapples with limited authority to restrict operations

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Most Read