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.

Just Posted

A look back at hand logging on Cortes Island

David Ellingsen explores his family’s logging roots with the help of his camera

Vancouver Island writer goes with the flow in River Tales

Crofton author documents life on the banks of the Cowichan River

EDITORIAL: If climate really is an emergency, then act like it

Communities busy declaring climate emergencies while not doing nearly enough to fix the problem

Vancouver Island man who pleaded guilty to beating over drug debt handed nine-year jail sentence

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Vancouver Island’s longest, steepest, zip line nears completion

Mount Washington aims to thrill with 2.3-km drop reaching speeds approaching 100 km/h

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read