Maus, an award-winning graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the horrors of the Holocaust, was recently banned by the McMinn County School District. In response, retailers are giving away free copies of the famous novel so that students can still get a chance to read it.
The Tennessee school district banned Maus for using "strong language" and "graphic depictions of Holocaust."
There was widespread outrage after the ban, which came in the same week as the National Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many people called the move a form of censorship.
Soon after the controversial ban, the book sold out in online stores.
The graphic novel tells the Holocaust story using mice based on experiences the father of the writer went through. It is one of the few books that use comic art to teach students.
After the ban, Nirvana Comics, a comic book shop in Knoxville, Tennessee, said it would be giving away copies of the book for free. The store said it would donate the book as long as it had it in stock to students who reached out through its social media accounts.
They even ordered an extra batch of the graphic novel to ensure all students who needed it would get a copy. The store also started to use crowdfunding to make sure they could keep the book in stock for as long as necessary.
The owner of the shop, Ryan Higgins, revealed that he would be giving away up to 100 copies of The Complete Maus to any family in the McMinn County area in Tennessee. All those who wanted it had to do was message him their address.
Other people have also taken similar steps to make sure Maus is owned by as many people as possible.
They include Gary Whitta, screenwriter for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, who said he had given about 25 copies in a tweet. Whitta said the ban was fascist.
Artist Mitch Gerards also spoke out against the ban, saying: "Kids, you're the future, not these backwater olds. Don't stand for it."
It is possible that more students will end up reading Maus due to the ban than would have been the case without it.