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Mass Market Paperback I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book

ISBN: 0553279378

ISBN13: 9780553279375

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

(Book #1 in the Maya Angelou's Autobiography Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

A phenomenal #1 bestseller that has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly three years, this memoir traces Maya Angelou's childhood in a small, rural community during the 1930s. Filled with images and recollections that point to the dignity and courage of black men and women, Angelou paints a sometimes disquieting, but always affecting picture of the people-and the times-that touched her life.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The book was missing about 90 pages.

I enjoyed the book but could not finish it because the last 90 pages were missing.

Green edge

loved it

Fast shipping.

Fast shipping. Arrived well packaged and in new condition.

A very moving life story

I don't remember who, but someone once said something like, "One death is a tragedy, but a thousand deaths is just statistic." This is sort of the way to describe the way I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings impacts the reader. Through her story, you can really come to understand the life of an American black female in the 1930s. From the first years of Maya Angelou's childhood, life was very difficult. Shipped away from her parents to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas, pretending for years that the reason she lived with her grandmother was because her parents were dead...then finding out that her parents were in fact alive, making it seem as if Maya was not wanted. In a segregated town full of prejudicce and injustice, Maya lives until around age 7, when she is finally taken to live with her mother. Although this may seem to be a change for the better, things take a turn when young Maya is raped by her mother's boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. When Mr. Freeman is put on trial and is later murdered, Maya believes it is her fault and stops talking. After a long time of silence, Maya meets people who will change her life forever, including Mrs. Flowers, who introduces Maya to the wonderful world of poetry. With the help of Maya's mother, Mrs. Flowers, and other influential people and situations, could Maya finally find happiness? Everyone should read this book, because it reveals the true emotions and feelings that were felt by American blacks. This book will make you cry, laugh, and run right out to buy the sequel, Gather Together In My Name.

An adult review--and one teacher's viewpoint

May I tell you why I choose to have my ninth grade students read it? I have noticed a lot of reviews by young people, which I applaud, but an adult perspective might be helpful. I don't particularly feel the need to defend its merits. (I am not articulate enough to do justice to that task.) As with any book, some will love it and some won't. Guaranteed, it will make you uncomfortable at times, because one chapter describes the rape of a young person--which is painful for any compassionate human being to hear. Plus, there are other sexual issues, largely stemming from the earlier assault, but also because she is a teenager in the last phase of the book. Such questions about love and sex are characteristic of the teenage years. Many young people, as well as adults, are confused about such topics. While these are generally the most controversial segments from the book, the fundamental lesson of the book goes far beyond the survival of one victim. I won't supply you with the answers as to what one should take away from the text. It is a personal experience for each of us. We can all learn from Maya's honest account of her childhood journey. We can all try on her experiences and live vicariously through her for a while, and see how it changes our own perspective on what it means to be a human being. I'll be the first to admit, this book is a challenge for all my students in one way or another. Some because they are white and live in the northern US. Some because they are male and it's difficult to view life through a woman's eyes. Some because of the adult vocabulary and extensive use of figurative language. Some of these experiences are so remote from their own, while others are very close to home. It helps them to see how much we actually do have in common with those who at first seem very different. They all can benefit from reading it, if they give it a chance. (Adults may be better equiped to appreciate fully this text. However, young people can take so much from it. Maybe one day, we can have an abridged version, so it is still rich in language and meaning, yet condensed so more young people can access its many gifts.) Beyond the darkness of some of those experiences (discrimination, rape, humilation and fear) lies a powerful sense of hope, dignity, determination and resilience. One of my favorite aspects of the book is its emphasis on the power of education, language and literacy. Throughout Maya's life--books, poetry, impassioned voices have all inspired her. Her autobiography is a moving tribute to a literate way of life and an enduring legacy to that tradition.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Mentions in Our Blog

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in Banned Books Week 2022
Banned Books Week 2022
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • September 15, 2022

Celebrate "the freedom to read" during the ALA's Banned Books Week. This annual event is designed to draw attention to books that have faced bans and challenges in regional areas around the US. With these challenges on the rise, it's ever more important to stand against literary censorship.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 9 Must-Read Books by Contemporary Black Authors
9 Must-Read Books by Contemporary Black Authors
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 05, 2020

For Black History month we've decided to bring you a series featuring great black writers from four distinct genres. This week, our focus is contemporary authors—from the Harlem Renaissance groundbreakers to exciting newcomers of today.

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