Maus by Art Spiegelman was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer prize. It tells the story of the Holocaust with the Jews depicted as mice and the Nazis depicted as cats. The news that a school board in Tennessee has banned the book (summarized by David Corn in MotherJones) has made me think of my own book, Wuthering Depths in Johnstown: By the Numbers, being excluded from being sold in the bookstores of the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) for similar reasons.
The reasons that the school board gave for banning Maus was that there is nudity and that there are the swear words "bitch" and "god damn" in the book. They said that that was inappropriate for kids. I was told that because I wrote in my book about the numbers surrounding the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal and the crime statistics (including rape) was inappropriate for them because they had a children's museum.
Ironically, JAHA had an exhibit on the holocaust three years ago with a survivor of these terrible events as a speaker. Apparently, they thought that that was appropriate for children as well as a book about the mafia in Johnstown. JAHA director Richard Burkert can be seen discussing the holocaust exhibit below.