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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. I really enjoyed this book It was reuired reading for a University course I took on Adolescent LiteratureThis book has been placed on banned book lists by needlessly close minded people for it s real life contentThe book tastefully addresses issues of molestation rape racism But it does so within the context of the trials and tribulations of growing up as well The book presents things in a direct and extremely vivid fashion but it is not garishly or needlessly graphic These are issues that need to be addressed and talked about with adolescents In fact earlier generations could have likely benefited from a little open discussion about such mattersIn any regard the book is not about these issues it simply addresses them within the context which is Maya Angelou s early life from somewhere around age 6 up to about 17 or 18 I believe Worth reading worth having your kids read Just be sure to discuss it s content with themlike a parent should anyway

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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. May 2014 I wrote this review a year and a half ago It is written from the perspective of a parent who cares about what her teenage children read in school I hope it may be useful to other parents teens and anyone else who cares about content and wants to make informed decisions about what they read I received mostly negative reactions to my review but also a few positive comments which encouraged me After a year of dealing with it all I wanted to be done and move on so I closed the comment section If you wish to read through the comments you ll see a few posts I wrote in reply My final comments are in the last two posts This is my personal reaction to the book and I support your right to make your own choices about what you read tooI read this book because my teenage son was going to be reuired to read it in his English class at school I did not want to read the book because I was aware of its content But I felt it necessary in order to be able to talk to the teacher about my objections So I did not like this book My degree in Comparative Literature enables me to recognize some literary value in Caged Bird as well as historical and social value I believe Maya Angelou is a talented writer I admire some of her poetry But her series of autobiographical books includes too much explicit and disturbing sexual content for me And I certainly did not want my 15 year old son to have to read it He did not want to read it and my husband and I completely supported his choiceThe most graphic and disturbing sexual material in Caged Bird involves the rape of the author as an eight year old girl This horrible experience deeply affects her life But I believe our teenage children can understand that terrible things like this happen without needing to be dragged through the muck of the sordid details Ms Angelou writes vividly My son does not want those images in his head and I fully support him I can see this book being taught at the college level but I strongly feel that it is not appropriate for high school reuired reading In my son s advanced English class this book was one of six main texts In the regular English class there are only two main texts and this is one of them How sad when there are so many other great literary works to choose from which are clean My son s teacher was nice and professional about it Another English teacher was not so nice She acted surprised that I would characterize the book as R rated She said that we could see worse things on prime time TV Our my husband s and my response was That s why we choose not to watch those TV shows It bothered me that she would try to use the everybody s doing it excuse Just because our society s standards of decency continue to plummet is no reason to embrace them It is an American Lit class so I suggested a couple of other texts as options if the purpose was to address the African American experience But this book is obviously one of that teacher s favorites so she defended it The teachers did say that our son could choose to read a different book However because the class structure was centered on discussion we and our son chose to have him read an edited version of Caged Bird instead I just told him which chapters to skip And I m glad that our son happened to have the sympathetic teacher So I m done with my rant now Just needed to get that out I m glad that I love to read so I can be alert to what my children are exposed to at school I know other parents who would also object to this book if they were aware of the content And I understand that it s hard to keep up with our kids sometimes I expect we ll run into this problem again at the high school But on the bright side I also get to enjoy discussing good books with my children

Maya Angelou ✓ 0 review

Mother’s side in St Louis Maya is attacked by a man many times her age and has to live with the conseuences for a lifetime Years later in San Francisco Maya learns that love for herself the kindness of others her own strong spirit and. Even before I started listening to this audio book I could hear Angelou s voice deep and distinctive I remember seeing her on tv at some point in the past and notably even though a while ago when she read a poem she had written for President Clinton s inauguration This autobiography of her early years from age four through sixteen makes for a tough story at times but an amazing telling of it At four years old she and her brother Bailey are sent to Stamps Arkansas to live with their paternal grandmother a staunchly religious and savvy store owner and their disabled Uncle Willy They help at the store go to school and live through times of ugly racism Four years later they go to live with their mother and at eight years old Maya is raped by her mother s boyfriend The children return to live with their grandmother but Maya is so scarred by the attack that she stops speaking for several years Yet amid the bad times in this depiction of the Jim Crow south there are times of happiness and revelation of what life has to offer It is back in Stamps that she develops a love of reading and she calls Shakespeare her first white love She shares the joy of making her first friend and her unconditional love for her brother Bailey The descriptions of the revival meeting and the church picnic and the days at her grandmother s store are poetic and she took me there with her wonderful story telling A few years later they move back with their mother and it is here in California that we see the impact of the past on her and also see her come of age at sixteen on her journey to becoming the renown activist writer poet Angelou does nothing short of bare her heart and soul in this deeply personal and affecting narrative


10 thoughts on “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

  1. says:

    I must confess I've read precious little Angelou in my time but I'll never forget the day she tipped me 20It was some random gray day in Maruette Michigan must've been the winter of '00 and I was washing dishes as usual at the downtown Landmar

  2. says:

    Maya Angelou was a poet and Nobel laureate who once gave an address at President Clinton's inauguration Before she won her multitudes of awards and honors Maya was raised in rural Stamps Arkansas by her grandmother and uncle during the depression First published in 1969 and now considered a modern classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings details Angelou's tumultuous childhood in poignant detail Born Marguerit

  3. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It was reuired reading for a University course I took on Adolescent LiteratureThis book has been placed on banned book lists by needlessly close minded people for it's real life contentThe book tastefully addresses issues of molestation rape racism But it does so within the context of the trials and trib

  4. says:

    My mother could never really speak to me about the abuse she suffered as a little girl the closest we came to talking about her experiences occurred when we read this painful and important book together I imagine that Maya's book has allowed countless women who have suffered similar horrors an opportunity to k

  5. says:

    Even before I started listening to this audio book I could hear Angelou’s voice deep and distinctive I remember seeing

  6. says:

    Caged BirdA free bird leapson the back of the windand floats downstreamtill the current endsand dips his wingin

  7. says:

    I have only ever given 5 stars to two autobiographies One was written by a white English man; the other by a black American woman On the surface you would think they could have very little in common yet they do They both have insight and comp

  8. says:

    I was sitting on a bench as I enjoyed the last bits of warm sunlight the dying summer was oozing out scrutinizing a newspaper while calculatedly

  9. says:

    May 2014 I wrote this review a year and a half ago It is written from the perspective of a parent who cares about what her teenage children read in school I hope it may be useful to other parents teens and anyone

  10. says:

    45 lyrical poignant honest stars 2018 Honorable Mention Read This was a wonderfully written beginning to Ms Angelou's six volume autobiography I had been wanting to read this for many years and Jean's gorgeous review pushed me over the edge to add this to my shortlist Ms Angelou's writing appears effortless and clear The emotions and honesty ring through and you walk alongside her childhood and feel for her pain enjoy her laughs