• Jaime

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

This memoir captured my heart. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a memoir of Maya Angelou‘s early life — her coming of age. It is a story told about her life up until age 17.


Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson, was raised in Stamps, Arkansas with her brother by her grandmother. There are so many themes here to unpack — familial bonds/relationships, coming of age in the South, racism, dealing with trauma — and to write in a such a candid way made me admire her even more. I especially enjoyed her sharing about her relationship with her brother, Bailey. I love stories on families and I loved that Dr. Angelou shared their relationship in such a candid way. It really highlighted and gave me as a reader a poignant look into a childhood and a sibling relationship. This reading experience was a good one. I felt as if I was right in the story with her.


Dr. Maya Angelou lived an extraordinary life — a poet, best selling author, screenwriter, teacher, receiptent of the Presidental Medal of Freedom — no doubt. To read about her beginnings was humbling and admirable. I commend her and am awed about what she went through. I’d highly recommend to read this memoir if you want your heart captured and if you love reading inspiring stories.

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