The Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) at CU Boulder is bringing awareness to book censorship and celebrating freedom of expression by supporting and promoting books that have been banned or challenged during Banned Books Week. This is part of the CHA’s 2023 – 2024 academic year programming theme “Liberty, Freedom, Democracy: The Fight for Ideas”. 


Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, read by Jennifer Ho

Book Featured: Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

This book has been banned, challenged, or restricted at various schools and libraries because of LGBTQIA+ content and because some consider it to have explicit images.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, read by Ami Dayan

Book Featured: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This book has been banned, challenged, or restricted at various schools and libraries due to offensive language, sexually explicit material, violence and religious viewpoints.

And Tango Makes Three By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, read by Adam Crawley

Book Featured: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Illustrated by Henry Cole

This book has been banned, challenged, or restricted at various schools and libraries due to complaints that the story is “unsuitable for young children” and has "homosexual overtones". This book is based on a true story.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, read by Cheryl Higashida

Book Featured: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Angelou's 1969 autobiography has been banned for mentions of sexual abuse, racism, and teen pregnancy.

Looking for Alaska by John Green, read by Megan King

Book Featured: Looking For Alaska by John Green

John Green’s 2005 YA novel has been banned or challenged due to sexual content, language, and the portrayal of underage drug and alcohol use.

We invited people to participate in the cause in 2 ways:

  • Banned Book Virtual Read-Out: Film yourself reading (2 minutes or less) from your favorite banned or challenged book using your phone, zoom, or other recording device. Your video(s) will be featured on the CHA's social mediaCHA YouTube Channel, and website.
  • Banned Book Virtual Love & Support: Film yourself (2 minutes or less) sharing your support and reasons why a specific book should not be banned. Your video(s) will be featured on the CHA's social mediaCHA YouTube Channel, and website

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at

Books that have been Banned or ChallengedTop 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022

About Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week was launched in response to a surge in the number of challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools. The annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, educators, authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas. 

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

EVENT: Join us for a talk "Censorship Unbound: A Panel on Book Bans and the Right to Read in K-8 Schools and Libraries", on Wednesday, October 25

Canyon Theater & Gallery - Boulder Public Library (5:30pm - 7:30 pm)

Presented in partnership with CU Boulder's School of Education and the Boulder Bookstore.

  • Panel: 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Reception: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Registration required (Registration will be available soon!)
  • Featuring on the panel a local teacher, a librarian, and a parent.
  • Opportunity to purchase the festival authors’ books, signing, and a reception will follow the panel.