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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou

  • Release Date: 1970-01-12
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 891 Ratings


Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
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 mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and 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.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin


  • Book Review

    By Roseareta
    I had to read this for my AP book choice in 10th grade and I do not recommend. In my opinion, I was bored out of my mind throughout the book and I love to read so it surprises me.
  • Overcoming ignorant societal prejudices

    By Macnyac
    This book is well written and very engaging. I like Maya’s chronology of her different life phases. And she captures each phase with authenticity. She’s a great example that society doesn’t define you but rather you define how society should view you. Need I say this book educated me how to treat a woman by the way she perceives herself in which case Maya let’s us into her thoughts. Thank you Maya for sharing your life with us and may you dwell amongst us through your works.
  • Understand us

    By juuuunnm
    You have a Ulithiu
  • Try the audio version narrated by maya Angelou! A gem!

    By Daisystar1
    Re: I know why the caged bird sings
  • I know why the caged bird sings

    By Kanisha Bowie
    Great read!!!
  • Wonderful Orator

    By Rondewla
    Ms. Angelou will leave a vast whole in the world of story telling and poetry. Thanks for all the amazing books. Rest my fair lady....
  • The Best Ever

    By cc court
    You truly will be missed! I enjoyed your poems so much!
  • Great

    By Doug hdsksj
    It's a very good and well written medium sized book written by a grand poet who makes the book seem as if the words were coming out of a child's mouth. Maya Angelou definitely had an interesting childhood and it makes for a very entertaining read.
  • OMG!!!!

    By cheryl's opinion
    I regret to say that this is this first of Maya Angelou's writings that I have ever read. It was awesome. Now I see why she is an acclaimed author, poet and speaker...she went through some tremendous things in her youth where she learned to put them to pen and paper; speaking candidly from her heart and soul. Now I am on a quest to read more of her work. And as the result of reading this book, I am a changed woman!
  • Brianna Binns

    By breezy binns
    This book was totally worth the read and it was very inspirational .