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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: 17.6 x 11 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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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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10 of 10 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tonisha on March 14 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having never read any of Angelou's previous works before this book I came into reading this book with an open mind. I was happy to find out that she has an absolutely beautiful way of writing. Maya is able to take something so dull and dress it into something heavenly. I truly enjoyed her heartpulling story of facing adversity, broken homes, and not knowing love...which lead her to eventually find herself. Although a pretty good novel...i was dissappointed with the ending. I wish the story would have never ended with its last account in the time of her teenage years...i believe the story should have continued.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 6 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now, before you accuse me of being some idiot teenager who hates English, let me assure you that it is not true. I love to read, my favorite writer is Charles Dickens (I like the Victorian English writers). I usually like books that I'm made to read, but not this one. Maya Angelou is an excellent writer of prose, and I'd like to read some of her poetry. But I agree with what one of the reviewers said below me. This book is pointless. It's just a mishmash of experiences from her life which have no meaning and ignited no feelings of comedy, tragedy, or anything for me. Perhaps others liked it because they felt that they could relate to Maya's experiences, but I felt I couldn't. I think it's because I'm a white, Northern, Jew and she's a black, Southern, Christian. I don't really know. I felt this book was pointless, and I don't feel that her life really had anything that worth shouting about. Well, some things she did, but, for the most part, no.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phil Durost on Dec 25 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would like to say that this book is the worst that I have ever had the misfortune of reading. This book was required reading for my advanced 10 grade English class, so I was forced to read it. Let me say this, Maya Angelou is a racist. Throughout the book she criticizes whites of racism and she goes as far as to say that she "can't wait to see all of the whites burn in hell for their pride while all the humble blacks go to heaven". This book for me can be summarized in one word... HYPOCRACY. She complains about being oppressed but then she turns around and calls all whites oppressive, hell bound, hate filled people. Don't be blindly lead to believe that this book is a literary masterpiece read it for yourself and see the hypocrasy in the book. ( I'm not saying that blacks weren't oppressed, they were, and I'm sorry, but it is no excuse for this tripe! )
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 21 1999
Format: Paperback
This book to me a waste of time. It had no significant ending. Why is having the baby a happy ending to this book. In my point of views it just made her life go downhill. And how is ruuning away to the junkyard a good idea. If I were to do that I would be dead. Maya does a good job writing this book but there is no point. She tries to get acroos themes but it fails. She grew up in tough times with much racism. She only sees whie hating blacks. She fails to see that she has a racist point of view of whites. Some details in the scene from St. Louis did not needed to be added. I don't think this is an appropriate book for kids to be forced to read. Kids can't watch some P.G. 13 movies in school. I consider this writing to be rated P.G. 16. My main problem is the book has no ending or point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 29 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book downsizes life. Ms. Angelou writes well and thought-provokingly, but this book makes hardship and questioning your place in the world seem like experiences specific to African Americans. I agree that this book is slightly racist, though not in the blatant, harsh way that the author seems to have endured. The feelings, thoughts, and questions in the book are NOT specific to a certain race, because nothing that counts for anything is specific to a certain race. If the book is meant to bring together races of people, it fails miserably. This books widens rifts, and in the end, even the reader feels stung.
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