Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Angelou)


Have I read this before: Nope.


Review: There are a lot of coming-of-age stories on my list, and I have mixed feelings about them. Some of them I’ve found worthwhile, some of them have kind of fallen by the wayside for me. This coming-of-age story probably sits about at the “neutral” point for me. It’s very beautifully written and it’s memorable in the sense that it’s a story about a young girl who is not characterized as either “all good” or “all bad” – which is in part because it’s semi-autobiographical and is thus centered around a real person (Maya herself). It seems like a lot of coming-of-age stories center on a protagonist who is more moral than everyone else or smarter than everyone else or more disadvantaged than everyone else or who makes poorer choices than everyone else. So it’s nice to read about someone who’s “real” – not only in the sense that she’s a real person and not fictional, but that she’s not portrayed as being one extreme or the other. It was a refreshing change from those extremes in this type of genre.


Favorite part: You can really see the influences of individual people and individual actions on Maya. The book does a very good job at showing how one action or one word of encouragement or one criticism can really affect a person’s life, especially a young person.


Rating: 6/10

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