After Tennessee school board bans Holocaust novel 'Maus,' comic book stores send students copies

·2 min read

After a Tennessee school board voted to ban "Maus," a graphic novel about the Holocaust, comic book store owners in California and Tennessee offered copies of the book to students.

Ryan Higgins owns Comics Conspiracy in California and tweeted that he'd ship 100 copies to families in McMinn County, Tennessee, where the Pulitzer-winning novel is banned.

Following suit, Knoxville Nirvana Comics announced it would loan copies of "Maus" to students. The comic store started a GoFundMe page to raise money to donate novels to families. The fundraiser passed its goal of $20,000, receiving more than $101,000 by midday Wednesday.

"Maus" follows a Jewish family's experience with antisemitism and their time at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Jewish people in the novel are depicted as mice, and Nazis are cats. The novel was included in McMinn County's eighth grade English and language arts curriculum.

Last month, the county school board voted to ban the novel because of "rough" language and a drawing of a nude woman.

'Absurd': Author of 'Maus' condemns Tennessee school's decision to pull book on Holocaust

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Author Art Spiegelman said he was alarmed by the board's decision.

"This is not about left versus right," Spiegelman told The Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network. "This is about a culture war that's gotten totally out of control."

Since offering "Maus" for free, Higgins told CNN the shop's "phone has been ringing off the hook," and he ran out of copies and will have to order more.

"It should be required reading for everybody," Rich Davis, co-owner of Knoxville Nirvana Comics, told CNN. "If we don't show them what the Holocaust was, the next generation may think it wasn't so bad, and then the next generation may think the Holocaust didn't happen, and then the next generation is repeating the Holocaust."

'Maus' sales soar: 'Maus' sales soar after book is banned by Tennessee school board

Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Maus: Comic book stores send students copies of banned Holocaust book