I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Book - 2002
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Maya Angelou's debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS's American Masters .

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou's debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age--and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

" I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity."--James Baldwin
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2002.
ISBN: 9780375507892
Branch Call Number: 818.5409 ANGELOU
Characteristics: 281 pages ; 22 cm.


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IndyPL_AnnaL Apr 20, 2020

This is a biography which describes Maya Angelou's life from the time she was three years old until sixteen. It is an amazingly written book about what it was like growing up as an African American girl in Arkansas, with her grandmother, St, Louis with her mother and family and San Francisco with her mother and sometimes father during the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Angelou is know for her strength, activism and beautiful prose. As you read her story, you understand the many obstacles that she overcame to become the woman she was and still is in the hearts of many. Reading this made me appreciate her work even more.

Jan 29, 2020

"It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charge brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead, I thought."

Jul 03, 2019

Gorgeous story. I throughly enjoy her writing. Certainly Maya Angelou is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Feb 28, 2019

Sad for me as a teen.. a real eye opener to this day i will forever remember reading this as a teen.. she a beautiful writer & has over came so much to become the written words for may people.. 📖

Feb 22, 2019

No copies available at this time (2-22-19).

Dec 17, 2018

A moving account of Maya Angelou's early life.

Mar 12, 2018

This book was my introduction into Maya Angelou's works and i couldn't be happier for the experience. She truly is a master of painting not only the picture, but the emotions of her stories as well.

Mar 06, 2018

I read this for the "A Book That Challenges Your Viewpoint" part of my 2018 reading challenge. It was a fascinating look into how Maya grew up, and I look forward to reading her other work.

Aug 08, 2017

. This ! ain't ! the " Blondie " I'm acquainted with .
. One star for this almub , 5 STARS for " BLONDIE " .
. No stars for Dagwood .

Apr 30, 2017

In this autobiography, Maya Angelou tells the story of her past through vivid writing; even when recalling moments from her past, her words read like poetry. Her personal stories of racism, abuse, and poverty are difficult to read, but that is because of how brutally honest they are. It is imperative to know about the past, and this work provides a striking retelling of Angelou’s upbringing. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings provides context for the rest of Angelou’s amazing work, and I absolutely recommend the book to other readers, even those who have not previously read an autobiography. 5/5
-@pastapages of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the autobiography of Maya Angelou in which she takes you through her journey of growing up black in the South, being abused, and persisting through trials and tribulations. This biography shows the prejudice Maya and those around her had to endure in both a tragic and hopeful point of view. I usually do not enjoy autobiographies but I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an exception. It is a raw and honest story of how the human soul can survive through every type of struggle and still be optimistic at the end of the day. Maya Angelou inspired so many by sharing her story and is a true hero that should be remembered and honored. 4.8 out of 5.
-@freshprinceofbooks of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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violet_leopard_133 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Nov 29, 2012

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Laura_X Apr 06, 2015

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

EuSei Sep 24, 2012

[When I was 8 years old] my mother would take me in to sleep with her, in the large bed with Mr. Freeman. ...[he] pulled me to him and put his hand between my legs. ...He threw back the covers and his "thing" stood up like a brown ear of corn. He took my hand and said, "Feel it." … he dragged me on top of his chest with his left arm, and his right hand was moving so fast.... Finally he was quiet, and then came the nice part. This was probably my real father ….

EuSei Sep 10, 2012

The Well of Loneliness was my introduction to lesbianism and was I thought of as pornography. For months the book was both a treat and a threat. It allowed me to see a little of the mysterious world of the pervert. It stimulated my libido.

EuSei Sep 10, 2012

His pants were open and his ‘thing’ was standing out of his britches by itself. ..He grabbed my arm and pulled me between his legs. He said, “Now, this ain’t gonna hurt you much. You liked it before, didn’t you?” …His legs were squeezing my waist. “Pull down your drawers.” ..”If you scream, I’m gonna kill you. And if you tell, I’m gonna kill Bailey.”…Then there was the pain. A breaking and entering when even the senses are torn apart. The act of rape on an eight-year-old body is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can’t. ..I thought I had died.

EuSei Sep 10, 2012

it was his ‘thing’ on my leg. Mr. Freeman pulled me to him, and put his hand between my legs…He threw back the blankets and his ‘thing’ stood up like a brown ear of corn. He took my hand and said, “Feel it.” It was mushy and squirmy like the inside of a freshly killed chicken. Then he dragged me on top of his chest.


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