Home | Reviews | Blog | Daily | Glossary | Orrin's Stuff | Email

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ()

Feminista 100 Greatest Works of 20th Century Fiction by Women Writers

First let me say that I liked this book much better than I expected to.  Angelou's prose, as one would expect, is often poetic and she looks back at her early life with little of the anger and hatred which so marred Richard Wright's Black Boy (see Orrin's review).  That said, let me also say that I agree with the school boards that have banned the book from libraries and classrooms.  The scenes where, as a child, she is sexually accosted by one of her mother's friends are too disturbing for young readers; heck, it was too disturbing for me.  But more importantly, the book ends with her triumphantly getting herself with child, though still a teen.  I can think of no message more inappropriate for young readers.  Let them wait and read the book in a couple years, it will still be around and they will have developed a fuller and more appropriate personal context in which to judge it.


Grade: (B)