Why is ‘Maus’ being banned? What Holocaust books should kids read?

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Paul Regelbrugge: It’s almost indescribable actually. At first blush, it’s like — okay, let’s try to put this in perspective, that it’s one small district in the state of Tennessee. But clearly there has already been an international response to this, as part of a much larger issue. My personal response is that having used this book with kids in middle school and up, I have never seen a text change the dynamic of a classroom the way this one did for the several years that I used it — with different grade levels, and different demographics, different backgrounds. I taught it to mostly African American kids in Buffalo, and to all Hispanic kids in Chicago, and kids from all over the world in the Kent School District (in Washington). It becomes an unbelievable vehicle, and all the students that I’ve ever had have connected so profoundly to it. It’s been truly life-changing for so many students, so taking it away is incomprehensible. As a parent, I have two boys, one is a 16 year-old now and the other is in college, but they both have read it. The younger one, it has stayed by his bedside for probably the past three or four years, and sometimes he’ll pick it up, he’s read these books five or six times each, because he says every time he reads it, the older he gets, the more he’s getting out of it. And every time he reads it, he’s asking different kinds of questions.



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