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Missing the Pieces
 from Ohio,  Jan 29, 2012

Growing up in racial Arkansas is far from the easiest way to grow up, but Maya Angelou finds a way to go through it all with a unique outlook and certain finesse. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings may just seem like a simple story of Southern racial tensions, but Angelou intertwines it with stories of broken homes, rape, and poverty. She creates a timeless autobiography about persevering through the hardest things life throws at you and coming out stronger in the end. After being sent to live with her grandma, Angelou begins a life of religious focus and an ethic of hard-work. Until her father decides itís time for her and her brother to come live with their mother. Maya Angelou is raped at just 5, and Angelou soon takes a ďvowĒ of silence, only to be sent back to her grandmaís. It is back in Stamps where she learns that writing is the key to teaching from our experiences, and language and talking gives power to the words. When she returns to her motherís yet again, she is seemingly untouched by her past, even as it haunts her every day. She finishes childhood and adolescents with a job, a loving family, and a baby-all to call her own- and all to support her as she continued to grow, learn, and teach every day. While Maya Angelou clearly executes the thesis of pushing through the tough parts of life, she leaves the reader lacking as to how they came to this thesis and where some of her teachings were. Even as she achieves the goal of her writing by the end of the book, I was lost along the way as she retold her life story to us. Angelou seemingly purposely left out steps on how she makes some of the most drastic decisions in her life. Even as Angelou left these points out of her plot, she writes the book to be much more comprehendible, compared to other books of this genre, for this age group. She writes the book in such a way that you can relate to her life, yet have no idea what she must be going through at all. You can relate to her as her and her father fight consistently, but have no idea how it feels to be so unwanted by him that heíd send her to his motherís, so as to never have to see her. She puts her experience in a way that people living every and any type of life can understand where Angelou is coming from. Maya Angelou stumps readers along the way to her thesis, but as you look back it all seems to finally fit together and all the pieces fall into place. I would pass I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings on, as an ingenious way of getting to the point about Angelouís issues.

  • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
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Inspiring & Strengthening
 from United States,  Jan 28, 2012

Maya Angelouís memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings retells the rough childhood Maya faced and how it pushed her aspire for a better life. Maya Angelouís purpose for writing her story is to prove that it doesnít matter where you come from and what you go through, you can always make your dreams come true. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a memoir depicting Maya Angelouís youth and upbringing in rural Stamps, Arkansas with her grandmother and the visits to St. Louis with her mother, and San Francisco with her father. Maya Angelou approaches her book as simply a woman telling her story. She doesnít write for pity or sympathy, only for inspiring and motivating. The main theme of the book is overcoming odds; her odds being a difficult childhood. Her experiences motivated her to tell her story of self-discovery and realization. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is aimed toward young girls who also may have struggles in their youth. The basic premises that Maya Angelou had for writing her memoir were her adolescence and the life-changing events that took place. The Depression, her parents divorce when she was three, her virginity unwillingly being taken away at age eight, and the racial segregation and discrimination of the blacks throughout her life were just a few. Some themes that emerged include racism and prejudice, religion, and also the abandonment by her parents. All these parts of her life cause her to act and create the ultimate idea of striving for greater. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is written very clearly with an apparent intent to move you with her story. In my opinion Maya Angelou did achieve her goal because after finishing her story I realized that I shouldnít give up no matter what comes my way. Maya Angelouís most important points in her book are that you can take on whatever may come your way as long as you believe in yourself and that your dreams are important and you should never let anybody else tell you differently. She proved this by not letting people tell her that she couldnít be a conductorette on the streetcars. When the Railway office refused her she kept coming back until they finally gave her the job. This proved that as long as she believed that she could get the job and she kept fighting for it, she would succeed. The possibilities that the book suggests to the reader is that you can do anything. The one thing that the book leaves out is the epilogue. In fact, that is the reason that I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. There is no follow up on the rest of her life so there is a sense of it being incomplete. Truth be told, that is the only thing I disliked about the book. What I liked best about the book is Maya Angelouís in-depth description and unique point of view that makes everyday moments seem so important and meaningful. Her writing style is one of a kind; full of soul that can be read through her words. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a heart touching and soul strengthening book that I would recommend to anyone. Whether you have been or are currently in a situation like Mayaís you will enjoy this book immensely and certainly be inspired.

  • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
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Caged bird sings
 from new haven CT,  Jan 1, 2010

This is a poignant book. every woman should have a copy and read it.

  • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
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