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The Canary

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019: #4 & #3 (Part 4 of 5)

by Sarah Obenauf on 2020-10-01T09:00:00-06:00 | Comments

Sex is a Funny Word (LGBTQIA+ content, sex education)

Written by sex educator Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona SmythSex is a Funny Word is a "candid, inclusive, stereotype-defying, and absolutely wonderful primer on sexuality and gender identity [which] embraces diversity in all of its dimensions" (Brain Pickings).

Published in 2015, Sex is a Funny Word has been on ALA's Top 10 List a total of two times (2019 and 2017). Challenged for its main topic (sex education), LGBTQIA+ representation, and the worry that it would lead children to "want to have sex or ask questions about sex" (ALA), this book has won many awards, including the 2016 Stonewall Honor for Books in Children's and Young Adult Literature and the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction.

Silverberg and Smyth have also published What Makes a Baby, a "book for every kind of family and every kind of kid. It is a 21st century children’s picture book about where babies come from that reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, however they came to be" (What Makes a Baby).


A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo (LGBTQIA+ content, political viewpoint)

Written by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss, and illustrated by EG Keller (and presented by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver), A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is a parody of Marlon Bundo's a Day in the Life of the Vice President (written by Vice President Mike Pence's daughter, Charlotte Pence, and illustrated by his wife, Karen Pence). The parody was even published one day before the actual book!

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was publised in 2018 and has been on the ALA's Top 10 list ever since. Making pointed jabs at Mr. Pence and his views on homosexuality and LGBTQ rightsA Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo depicts Marlon falling in love with another boy bunny (Wesley), whom he eventually marries. All proceeds from the book go to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo has been challenged for its LGBTQIA+, political, and religious content, and for "concerns that it is 'designed to pollute the morals of its readers,' and for not including a content warning" (ALA).

Listen to a clip of the audiobook (read by Jim Parsons, Jesse Ferguson, John Lithgow, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul).

Watch a clip of John Oliver introducing the book.


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