Knoxville comic book store gives away at least 300 copies of Maus a year after controversy –

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Around a year ago, a Knoxville comic book store raised more than $100,000 and gave away more than 1,000 copies of a graphic novel that was removed from the curriculum of McMinn County schools, preventing students from reading it as part of their Holocaust curriculum.
They continued the tradition over the weekend, giving away hundreds of copies of Maus and raising money to support children’s access to literature.
Maus won a Pulitzer for its story depicting a Jewish man and his family as the Nazi regime rose to power. He is eventually arrested and taken to Auschwitz, a concentration camp where 1.1 million people died. The book tells his experiences there and in the country, and illustrates the attempts of that man’s son to retell the story.
The board pointed to profanity and nudity as reasons to remove the book from classrooms. In response, Nirvana Comics worked to put the books in the hands of as many people as possible.
A year later, they said they wanted to do something special. They hosted a weekend giveaway where anyone who wanted a copy of the book could take it for free. Customers also had the choice to pay what they wanted for it, with money going to support the shop’s Free Little Library.
They gave away more than 300 copies of Maus, and raised more than $1,000, according to the store.
The library is located inside the store, next to the all-ages section. That library gives young readers a chance to read a variety of books, regardless of their ability to pay or what could be available in school.
That library also helped the comic book store earn a national award — the Diamon Comic Distributor’s Best Practices Award. They earned it for their all-ages section as a whole, including the Free Little Library.
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