I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
My English class read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings our sophomore year of high school, which I think was an appropriate level for the book. Based on the author's childhood and young adulthood, Maya Angelou's novel illustrates the life of an African American girl in the pre-civil rights American south. Filled with heart-wrenching anecdotes about discrimination, fear, and confusion, and dotted with the occasional happy ending, Angelou's tale successfully paints a picture of the horrid combination of puberty and racism. It's an eye-opening novel that won't leave you smiling, but is worth reading all the more so as a result.