Superbly told, with the poet’s gift for language and observation, this is Angelou’s autobiography (the first of five volumes) of her childhood in Arkansas – a world of which most Americans are ignorant.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings recounts Angelou’s childhood and early life. Sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou endured sorrow, tragedy, disappointment and, eventually, realization of self-worth. Descriptions of racial prejudice and her sexual assault resonate through the book and have long-reaching effects, but her strength and determination to overcome any set-back create an uplifting story for all.

Sited for sexually explicit content, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of the most frequently challenged and banned books in America.

Celebrate your freedom to read – do not take this precious democratic freedom for granted! Visit the American Library Association’s site on Banned Books Week for more information.

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