Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Thoughts - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
published 1970
291 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

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 any times her age-and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself, and 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.

My thoughts -

I have to admit that I'm not QUITE done reading this.....but Diversiverse ends tonight, and I really want to get this in before it's over, and I'll finish it before I go to bed, so......

And then, of course, there is the finding of the right words to say to describe this book. It has been a hard read, not because of it's execution but because of it's content. It makes my heart ache to think of the things that happened to this little girl - of the things that are happening today to little girls around the world. Angelou writes these events with honestly, but never gratuitously - she's not writing tragedy porn, but rather a record of the events that led to her becoming the person she finally was. It's hard reading, but so worthwhile.

Her writing is beautiful, generous, funny, and smart. She paints pictures with her words, and that leads to the difficulty in reading at times - I can see what she sees, feel what she feels, and it's often painful. But ultimately, it doesn't feel hopeless, and that's why I can keep reading.

I don't know how the story ends, but I know I will keep reading to the end. This is a powerful book. I can understand why parents would be concerned about their high school aged kids reading this, but I think it could potentially foster so many wonderful conversations that it would probably be worth it. I'm glad I finally took the chance and plunged in. I know this is a book I will not soon forget.

Finished - 9/27/14 (I AM gonna finish this tonight!
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - definitely R, for lots of places
My rating -     (TBD)

I read this book for

#Diversiverse (it's over today, so go and look at the amazing number of books I haven't read yet, but.....

And Banned Books Week, because I'm a rebel! 


bermudaonion said...

I read this years ago and remember being moved by it. I really should read it again.

Aarti said...

What did you think, now that you have finished it?! Was it so good?

Do you think this one would be good to do as an audiobook? It's available from the library and I am not sure if it would be a really good or probably not that great experience.

THANK YOU for coming back to blogging and participating!!

Sarah Laurence said...

A fine review of one of my favorite books, even if you didn't finish. It was an emotional experience reading it.