Challenge news: Maus.

From the NYT:

The government’s plan was simple enough: Rid Moscow of swastikas or any other symbol of Nazism before Victory Day, the celebration of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Germany and the most important political holiday in Russia.

But in the frenzy to comply, bookstores aiming to please the censor found an unlikely victim: “Maus,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about a Jewish family during the Holocaust. Muscovites discovered this week that the book, which bears a swastika on its cover, had been quietly stripped from the shelves of the largest bookstores across the Russian capital.

From the Moscow Times:

Writer Margarita Varlamova said via Facebook that she had tried to buy a copy of “Maus” in the Moscow House of Books only to be told by the store worker to come back after May 9, when Russia celebrates the 70th anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany.

“I said, goodness — it's an anti-fascist novel,” Varlamova said Thursday in her post, adding that the issue was resolved when a security guard brought out a copy of the book under cover of his jacket.

From the Guardian:

But Varvara Gornostayeva, the chief editor at the book’s publisher Corpus, said major bookstore chains were taking it off their shelves and internet sites.

“They have removed the book,” Gornostayeva told AFP. “It was selling very well and nobody had ever sent us any official complaints.”

I'm sure this will all get worked out, but it's a great illustration of why it's so very important for school and library administrators to follow their own policies, rather than just pulling books from shelves—and hands—willy-nilly.