“Maya Angelou recounts what it was like growing up and a young black woman many years ago. It was fascinating to read about prejudice and racism from that perspective. She tells us all about the hardships she endured and ultimately overcame. Wonderfully written and an easy read. ”Julie wrote this review Sunday, April 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I expected to like this more than I did. I'm not sure why I thought it was a book of poetry, but it's not that at all.”Carol wrote this review Wednesday, May 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“In her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou provides an account of growing up in the 1930s in rural Arkansas with her grandmother, and later living with her mother in California in the 1940s. At a young age, Maya and her brother Bailey were sent to live with their grandmother. They were expected to do chores daily, respect their elders and attend church on a regular basis. From that experience Maya learned the value of hard work, family unity, and the power of faith, but also experienced racism. She also describes a deep sense of parental abandonment, and her physical and emotional insecurities. When Maya and Bailey were eight and nine years old respectively, they went back to California to live with their mother. They loved being with their beautiful and hardworking mother. However, during that time Maya endured neglect, prejudice and molestation. These are just some of the tragic experiences discussed along with the trials and tribulations of growing up. Her story and subsequent triumph is a testament to the inner-strength of the human spirit; its ability to overcome unfathomable hardship.
Connections: This book has been banned from many schools due to its graphic content. The author describes disturbing experiences: rape, prostitution, violence, unwanted pregnancy, etc. These are pertinent issues that need to be talked about with adolescents. If discussed properly, the autobiography would provide awareness of sensitive topics. It would help many adolescents cope with the shame and guilt that comes with similar experiences. Nonetheless, should these topics be addressed in a classroom? The memoir might be more appropriate for a counselor, social worker or school psychologist’s book collection. ”
“I really enjoyed her autobiography. Definitely kept me interested. I liked how as she got older, her internal thoughts grew more mature.”Allan Khankari wrote this review Saturday, April 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this 1970 classic. Maybe it's because I was just a little girl when it was written. I was part of the New South, the white child who played house with black and white dolls, oblivious of my roots. Dr. Angelou's natural poetic prose describes a South that I'm too young to remember. The story of her childhood during the first half of the Twentieth Century will remain in my heart until the day I die. I'm eternally grateful to the author for sharing her life with me. She brings alive an era that we Southerners have long forgotten or swept under the rug. It was a time of injustice and unimagined cruelty toward Black Americans that I never knew existed in my sweet southern hometown. But if I'm totally honest, I must admit that the wrongs of the past lay dormant beneath the placid smiles and practiced greetings on Main Street.
In this story, the reader learns firsthand what it was like growing up Black in America nearly one hundred years ago. The story travels from rural Stamps, Arkansas to St. Louis, Missouri during The Great Depression, then onto California during World War II. I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS is just a glimpse of a remarkable, well-lived life. Reading this book a rare opportunity and privilege that I invite everyone to experience.
“This book is Maya Angelou's autobiography of her childhood into her teen years. The story is well worth reading and one that we can all learn something from.
While many of the scenes in this book are heart-breaking, the story is one of survival, finding yourself, and learning to let go of the idolized and childish viewpoints of those we love without losing the love we have for them. ”
“Interesting story, but it didn't seem to have a point.”John Walters wrote this review Friday, January 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked this book a lot. Very honest. An interesting perspective from a younger self. I was sad it ended where it did.”Stephanie F. wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“excellent book. this is an autobiography of the author's childhood struggles growing up Black, in the South, and during the Depression. The story is moving and full of adventure. Your heart goes out to these children being shuffled from family to family and reading about the tragedies and trials they experienced. i'll definitely read more of Maya Angelou.”Yvette T wrote this review Friday, January 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No