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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou (Author)
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Item Number 157990  
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Item description for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou...

Outline ReviewIn 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."

Product Description
An unforgettable memoir of growing up black in the 1930s and 1940s in a tiny Arkansas town where Angelou's grandmother's store was the heart of the community and white people seemed as strange as aliens from another planet. 2 cassettes.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged,   Audiobook
Studio: Random House Audio
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7" Width: 4.36" Height: 0.78"
Weight:   0.36 lbs.
Binding  Audio Cassette
Release Date   Mar 31, 1986
Publisher   Random House Audio
ISBN  0394553691  
ISBN13  9780394553696  
UPC  079808553698  

Availability  0 units.

More About Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning, and Mother. Maya Angelou died in 2014.

From the Hardcover edition.

Maya Angelou lived in Winston-Salem, in the state of North Carolina. Maya Angelou was born in 1928 and died in 2014.

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Product Categories

1Books > Audiocassettes > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Angelou, Maya
2Books > Audiocassettes > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature
3Books > Audiocassettes > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National
4Books > Audiocassettes > Biographies & Memoirs > General
5Books > Audiocassettes > Biographies & Memoirs > Women
6Books > Audiocassettes > General
7Books > Audiocassettes > History
8Books > Audiocassettes > Literature & Fiction > Poetry, Drama & Short Stories
9Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
10Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black
11Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > General
12Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
13Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
14Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Angelou, Maya
15Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
16Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Poets, A-Z > ( A ) > Angelou, Maya
17Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > Angelou, Maya
18Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > African American
19Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Discrimination & Racism

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Reviews - What do customers think about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

South Mill Young Readers Book Club Review (Jr. High Readers)  May 30, 2008
We are the members of the South Mill Young Readers Book Club located in Conyers, Georgia. We are in the thirteen year old age bracket and thought it would be challenging to attempt to read and understand this story. As a result of our reading, we rate the book as follows:

Creativity - B+
Enjoyment - A+
Price - B+

We would recommend this book to others in our age group to read it.

Typed by Book Club Instructor: mwg
Recommended for teenage girls.  May 22, 2008
I thought this book was an interesting read, however it was difficult to finish at times. What made me continue to finish the book was the beautiful way Maya Angelou writes. I found her story to be a bit dry and slow at times. However, her preserverance to become successful in life dispite her many obstacles kept me interested in this book. If I had not known how successful Maya Angelou's life turned out, I might not have finished the book. I was interested in knowing her journey. I recommend this book for teenage girls who are struggling with self-esteem issues and teen pregnancy because Maya Angelou's story can be used as a great encouragement to hang in there despite adversity.
Umm...   Mar 19, 2008
Definitely not what i thought when i was assigned to read this book by my professor. Maya Angelou definitely led an interesting life, but the way it was written makes her seem self- conscious and doubtful of hew own recollections, i personally did not like or understand it. i had to rely on sparknotes to guide me to the end of this most unique... book. i would not recommend it.
Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings  Feb 12, 2008
A narrative about overcoming the obstacles in one's life, Maya Angelou's memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, reflects on Maya's experiences as a child and teen and the racial discrimination she faces. The memoir is set in rural Arkansas, St. Louis, and San Francisco between the years of 1931 and 1944, At the age of three, Maya, along with her elder brother, Bailey, are sent to live with their grandmother in Arkansas, deep in the then segregated South, after their parents' marriage ends in divorce. Later, as a young adult, she and her brother are sent to live with their mother, both in St. Louis and in San Francisco. While growing up, Maya struggles with maturing into an adult, her parents divorce, rape, and pregnancy.
While living with her mother in St. Louis, Maya is raped by her mother's fifty-year-old boyfriend, Mr. Freeman, at the age of eight. Although this issue is briefly touched upon through the book, one can see it made a great impact on her life, as she refused to talk for several years. With the help of Mrs. Flowers, a woman living in her town in Arkansas, she finally did begin to speak again. Later, while living in San Francisco, Maya begins to fear herself to be a lesbian, and as a result of this belief, she has sex with a boy at sixteen in hopes of convincing herself she is not gay. Three weeks after having sex, Maya finds herself pregnant. She hid her pregnancy from her mother for a majority of her pregnancy term, and it was only with two weeks left in the pregnancy did she decide to tell her mother. Angelou only briefly touches on her pregnancy, as if it is an insignificant issue in her life; however, during the 1940's, society looked down upon single, unwed, teen mothers. Despite all the elements working against her, she continues to persevere, eventually becoming the first black female street car conductor in San Francisco while still in high school, despite the racial discrimination opposing her.
Although I wanted to connect to Maya Angelou's character because she is a female protagonist and much of the book takes place while she was a teenager, I was unable to. In Jeannette Walls's memoir, The Glass Castle, I was cheering for Jeannette to overcome her obstacles and achieve her goals in life, while I had little empathy for the issues Maya faced in her life. I found the language in the book relatively simple, but I was confused throughout the book, whether it was about character's ages, or the introduction of new characters. While reading, I would find myself needing to stop for a minute so I would be able to remember who a character was.
Maya Angelou expertly sums up her experiences as a child in the opening of the book when she states, "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." Although I did not love this book, it is successful in portraying a young woman who clears many hurtles and champions her dreams.
I read with my daughter who is in the 7th grade. Her teacher assigned to read as a book report. The students had to write about symbols, motifs, etc. and compare them to personal life experiences. But, as we read together, the words were very graphic beginning around ( i believe chapter going forward ) describing the rape by Maya mother's boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. The book stated that his private part " stood up like a piece of corn ". This is not a " youth friendly book ". PARENTS : Take time to read with your children. I gave two stars because there were funny, interesting points in the book at teh beginning. Other than that, INAPPROPRIATE !

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