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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Mass Market Paperback – Apr 21 2009


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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings + Letter to My Daughter + The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (April 21 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345514408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345514400
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

In this first of five volumes of autobiography, poet Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment, frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever. Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

If your originals of these two popular titles (LJ 9/1/78, LJ 3/15/70, respectively) have seen better days, these reprints offer affordable, high-quality replacements.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"WHEN I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the mustly little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed-""To Whom It May Concern""-that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o " Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michele Lewis on June 8 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer McCombs on July 31 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book after discovering the passing of the author, and the praise she had received for her writing, so I decided to see what she had to offer.
I really enjoyed this book and the fact that she gave the book a narrative that felt more like a story than a autobiography. She felt like both a character and a real person.
I found some of it to be a little drab at times, including information that went on for a little too long. Some descriptions just dragged.
However, what I'm sure the author is most likely famous for are the memorable and enlightening quotes that she creates through the book that really makes you think. Most of her descriptions are very well done and paint a clear picture. She allows the reader into a life of oppression and struggle that many people wouldn't have been able to be a part of otherwise. She manages to write her story through a very honest yet positive mindset which is admirable and strong. I feel like many people can relate to the book mainly because she doesn't keep parts out that may make her look bad or seem silly. She skips around so that you focus on the biggest aspects of her life.
I felt enthralled by this book, and when it ended I just wanted to read more. I felt like I wanted to read until she was aged and old. It was a very good and insightful book and I would recommend it to others easily.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ce-Cee on June 1 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maya is a very incredible writer. Her words float off your tongue while you read her work. I never read anything by Maya before so I was very amazed while reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. You would think you were reading a novel instead of a biography. She has an interesting style of writing. Maya tells you how it was growing up in the 50s and 60s. Maya didn't have people that loved her outside her family. Her family even showed their love in such odd ways. Maya parents sent her and her brother Bailey away to live with their grandmother when they were five and six. The only person that Maya felt really loved her was her older brother Bailey. Maya tried to find love but she looks in the wrong places. She faced many obstacles during her childhood days, which she talks about in the book. Maya worked her way around them to become the strong person she is today. I think this book is a good inspiration for anyone who had to go through what Maya went through. I admire her because she faced so many struggles and she became a successful person in life. Maya lets me know never to give up because you never know where you're going to end up unless you keep going. I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a good author as well as a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justin on May 20 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a well written book. It is written about the authors life as an african american child in the south. Maya Angelou and her brother Bailey where born of the african american race. They were sent to the south to live with there grandmother. I really liked this book because it was written very smoothly and did not jump from one topic to another topic. The way she structurally bulit her autobiography is very smoothly done.
The book is very well thought out. The way she puts her life into a story that teenagers can understand is not very easily done, but she made it very understandable of how african americans were treated in that time. The way she developed her book was pretty empressive because she put everything the way it happened and did not go from one thing to the next without a good transition. She says in her book "Annie, tell Willie he better lay low tonight. A crazy nigger messed with a white lady today. Some of the boys'll be coming over here later" that quote shows everyone how the african american people where treated (3.18). That quote really hit me in the heart good because of the fact that the white folk does not know if it was Willie or not but they really do not care, they are still going to beat him up because he is african american.
I really liked the plot of this story because it is basically Maya Angelou's life. How she was treated when she was a child, and what she did as a child to pass time. There was not television or anything like that back in her days as a child. "After our early chores where done, while Uncle Willie or Momma minded the Store, we were free to play the children's games as long as er stayed within yelling distance". I like this quote because I think that that is the best way to past the time.
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