I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is a 1969 autobiography describing the young and early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice. Angelou was challenged by her friend, author James Baldwin, and her editor, Robert Loomis, to write an autobiography that was also a piece of literature. Reviewers often categorize Caged Bird as autobiographical fiction because Angelou uses thematic development and other techniques common to fiction, but the prevailing critical view characterizes it as an autobiography, a genre she attempts to critique, change, and expand. The book covers topics common to autobiographies written by black American women in the years following the Civil Rights Movement: a celebration of black motherhood; a critique of racism; the importance of family; and the quest for independence, personal dignity, and self-definition. In this article, you will be able to download the pdf version of I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou as well as do the following:
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Summary of I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
About the author of I know why the caged bird sings – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. Angelou has been waitress, singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer and mother In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning for the inauguration of President Clinton and Mother. She now has a life-time appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Maya Angelou died in 2014.
Information about the book I know why the caged bird sings (Amazon)
- Publisher : Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (April 21, 2009)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345514408
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345514400
- Lexile measure : 1010L
- Item Weight : 5.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.12 x 0.76 x 6.85 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #4 in Deals in Books
- Customer Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars 17,947 ratings
Excerpt from I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
“What you looking at me for?
I didn’t come to stay . . .”
Whether I could remember the rest of the poem or not was immaterial. The truth of the statement was like a wadded-up handkerchief, sopping wet in my fists, and the sooner they accepted it the quicker I could let my hands open and the air would cool my palms.
“What you looking at me for . . . ?”
The children’s section of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was wiggling and giggling over my well-known forgetfulness. The dress I wore was lavender taffeta, and each time I breathed it rustled, and now that I was sucking in air to breathe out shame it sounded like crepe paper on the back of hearses. As I’d watched Momma put ruffles on the hem and cute little tucks around the waist, I knew that once I put it on I’d look like a movie star. (It was silk and that made up for the awful color.) I was going to look like one of the sweet little white girls who were everybody’s dream of what was right with the world. Hanging softly over the black Singer sewing machine, it looked like magic, and when people saw me wearing it they were going to run up to me and say, “Marguerite [sometimes it was ‘dear Marguerite’], forgive us, please, we didn’t know who you were,” and I would answer generously, “No, you couldn’t have known. Of course I forgive you. “Just thinking about it made me go around with angel’s dust sprinkled over my face for days. But Easter’s early morning sun had shown the dress to be a plain ugly cut-down from a white woman’s once-was-purple throwaway. It was old-lady-long too, but it didn’t hide my skinny legs, which had been greased with Blue Seal Vaseline and powdered with the Arkansas red clay. The age-faded color made my skin look dirty like mud, and everyone in church was looking at my skinny legs.
Wouldn’t they be surprised when one day I woke out of my black ugly dream, and my real hair, which was long and blond, would take the place of the kinky mass that Momma wouldn’t let me straighten? My light-blue eyes were going to hypnotize them, after all the things they said about “my daddy must of been a Chinaman” (I thought they meant made out of china, like a cup) because my eyes were so small and squinty. Then they would understand why I had never picked up a Southern accent, or spoke the common slang, and why I had to be forced to eat pigs’ tails and snouts. Because I was really white and because a cruel fairy stepmother, who was understandably jealous of my beauty, had turned me into a too-big Negro girl, with nappy black hair, broad feet and a space between her teeth that would hold a number-two pencil. “What you looking …” The minister’s wife leaned toward me, her long yellow face full of sorry. She whispered, “I just come to tell you, it’s Easter Day.” I repeated, jamming the words together, “Ijustcometotellyouit’sEasterDay,” as low as possible. The giggles hung in the air like melting clouds that were waiting to rain on me. I held up two fingers, close to my chest, which meant that I had to go to the toilet, and tiptoed toward the rear of the church. Dimly, somewhere over my head, I heard ladies saying, “Lord bless the child,” and “Praise God.” My head was up and my eyes were open, but I didn’t see anything. Halfway down the aisle, the church exploded with “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” and I tripped over a foot stuck out from the children’s pew. I stumbled and started to say something, or maybe to scream, but a green persimmon, or it could have been a lemon, caught me between the legs and squeezed. I tasted the sour on my tongue and felt it in the back of my mouth. Then before I reached the door, the sting was burning down my legs and into my Sunday socks. I tried to hold, to squeeze it back, to keep it from speeding, but when I reached the church porch I knew I’d have to let it go, or it would probably run right back up to my head and my poor head would burst like a dropped watermelon, and all the brains and spit and tongue and eyes would roll all over the place. So I ran down into the yard and let it go. I ran, peeing and crying, not toward the toilet out back but to our house. I’d get a whipping for it, to be sure, and the nasty children would have something new to tease me about. I laughed anyway, partially for the sweet release; still, the greater joy came not only from being liberated from the silly church but from the knowledge that I wouldn’t die from a busted head. If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.
When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed—”To Whom It May Concern”—that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson. Our parents had decided to put an end to their calamitous marriage, and Father shipped us home to his mother. A porter had been charged with our welfare—he got off the train the next day in Arizona—and our tickets were pinned to my brother’s inside coat pocket. I don’t remember much of the trip, but after we reached the segregated southern part of the journey, things must have looked up. Negro passengers, who always traveled with loaded lunch boxes, felt sorry for “the poor little motherless darlings” and plied us with cold fried chicken and potato salad. Years later I discovered that the United States had been crossed thousands of times by frightened Black children traveling alone to their newly affluent parents in Northern cities, or back to grandmothers in Southern towns when the urban North reneged on its economic promises.
The town reacted to us as its inhabitants had reacted to all things new before our coming. It regarded us a while without curiosity but with caution, and after we were seen to be harmless (and children) it closed in around us, as a real mother embraces a stranger’s child. Warmly,but not too familiarly. We lived with our grandmother and uncle in the rear of the Store (it was always spoken of with a capital s), which she had owned some twenty-five years. Early in the century, Momma (we soon stopped calling her Grandmother) sold lunches to the sawmen in the lumberyard (east Stamps) and the seedmen at the cotton gin (west Stamps). Her crisp meat pies and cool lemonade, when joined to her miraculous ability to be in two places at the same time, assured her business success. From being a mobile lunch counter, she set up a stand between the two points of fiscal interest and supplied the workers’ needs for a few years. Then she had the Store built in the heart of the Negro area. Over the years it became the lay center of activities in town. On Saturdays, barbers sat their customers in the shade on the porch of the Store, and troubadours on their ceaseless crawlings through the South leaned across its benches and sang their sad songs of The Brazos while they played juice harps and cigarbox guitars. The formal name of the Store was the Wm. Johnson General Merchandise Store. Customers could find food staples, a good variety of colored thread, mash for hogs, corn for chickens, coal oil for lamps, light bulbs for the wealthy, shoestrings, hair dressing, balloons, and flower seeds. Anything not visible had only to be ordered. Until we became familiar enough to belong to the Store and it to us, we were locked up in a Fun House of Things where the attendant had gone home for life.
Each year I watched the field across from the Store turn caterpillar green, then gradually frosty white. I knew exactly how long it would be before the big wagons would pull into the front yard and load on the cotton pickers at daybreak to carry them to the remains of slavery’s plantations. During the picking season my grandmother would get out of bed at four o’clock (she never used an alarm clock) and creak down to her knees and chant in a sleep-filled voice, “Our Father, thank you for letting me see this New Day. Thank you that you didn’t allow the bed I lay on last night to be my cooling board, nor my blanket my winding sheet. Guide my feet this day along the straight and narrow, and help me to put a bridle on my tongue. Bless this house, and everybody in it. Thank you, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen “Before she had quite arisen, she called our names and issued orders, and pushed her large feet into homemade slippers and across the bare Iye-washed wooden floor to light the coal-oil lamp.
The lamplight in the Store gave a soft make-believe feeling to our world which made me want to whisper and walk about on tiptoe. The odors of onions and oranges and kerosene had been mixing all night and wouldn’t be disturbed until the wooded slat was removed from the door and the early morning air forced its way in with the bodies of people who had walked miles to reach the pickup place. “Sister, I’ll have two cans of sardines.” “I’m gonna work so fast today I’m gonna make you look like you standing still.” “Lemme have a hunk uh cheese and some sody crackers.” “Just gimme a couple them fat peanut paddies.” That would be from a picker who was taking his lunch. The greasy brown paper sack was stuck behind the bib of his overalls. He’d use the candy as a snack before the noon sun called the workers to rest. In those tender mornings the Store was full of laughing, joking, boasting and bragging. One man was going to pick two hundred pounds of cotton, and another three hundred. Even the children were promising to bring home fo’ bits and six bits. The champion picker of the day before was the hero of the dawn. If he prophesied that the cotton in today’s field was going to be sparse and stick to the bolls like glue, every listener would grunt a hearty agreement. The sound of the empty cotton sacks dragging over the floor and the murmurs of waking people were sliced by the cash register as we rang up the five-cent sales.
If the morning sounds and smells were touched with the supernatural, the late afternoon had all the features of the normal Arkansas life. In the dying sunlight the people dragged, rather than their empty cotton sacks. Brought back to the Store, the pickers would step out of the backs of trucks and fold down, dirt-disappointed, to the ground. No matter how much they had picked’ it wasn’t enough. Their wages wouldn’t even get them out of debt to my grandmother, not to mention the staggering bill that waited on them at the white commissary downtown. The sounds of the new morning had been replaced with grumbles about cheating houses, weighted scales, snakes, skimpy cotton and dusty rows. In later years I was to confront the stereotyped picture of gay song-singing cotton pickers with such inordinate rage that I was told even by fellow Blacks that my paranoia was embarrassing. But I had seen the fingers cut by the mean little cotton bolls, and I had witnessed the backs and shoulders and arms and legs resisting any further demands.
Some of the workers would leave their sacks at the Store to be picked up the following morning, but a few had to take them home for repairs. I winced to picture them sewing the coarse material under a coal-oil lamp with fingers stiffening from the day’s work. In too few hours they would have to walk back to Sister Henderson’s Store, get vittles and load, again, onto the trucks. Then they would face another day of trying to earn enough for the whole year with the heavy knowledge that they were going to end the season as they started it. Without the money or credit necessary to sustain a family for three months. In cotton-picking time the late afternoons revealed the harshness of Black Southern life, which in the early morning had been softened by nature’s blessing of grogginess, forgetfulness and the soft lamplight.
Quotes from I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”
“Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.”
“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
“Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
“To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.”
“Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.”
“I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.”
“If you’re for the right thing, you do it without thinking.”
“The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power.
The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.”
“Ritie, don’t worry ’cause you ain’t pretty. Plenty pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind.”
“To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision.”
“Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn’t know what I was aware of. I knew I knew very little, but I was certain that the things I had yet to learn wouldn’t be taught to me at George Washington High School. ”
“The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education. ”
“She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy.”
“At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.”
“If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.”
“A story went the rounds about a San Franciscan white matron who refused to sit beside a Negro civilian on the streetcar, even after he made room for her on the seat. Her explanation was that she would not sit beside a draft dodger who was a Negro as well. She added that the least he could do was fight for his country the way her son was fighting on Iwo Jima. The story said that the man pulled his body away from the window to show an armless sleeve. He said quietly and with great dignity, “Then ask your son to look around for my arm, which I left over there.”
“It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us.”
“People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God’s will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.”
“When things were very bad his soul just crawled behind his heart and curled up and went to sleep”
“The world had taken a deep breath and was having doubts about continuing to revolve.”
“I had given up some youth for knowledge, but my gain was more valuable than the loss”
“Women been gittin’ pregnant ever since Eve ate that apple.”
“He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education, and even more amazing no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack.”
“The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country’s table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin’s-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but is appreciated. We know that they have put to use their full mental and physical powers. Each single gain feeds into the gains of the body collective.”
“The intensity with which young people live demands that they “blank out” as often as possible.”
“Until recently each generation found it more expedient to plead guilty to the charge of being young and ignorant, easier to take the punishment meted out by the older generation (which had itself confessed to the same crime short years before). The command to grow up at once was more bearable than the faceless horror of wavering purpose, which was youth.”
“It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.”
Where to buy I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide and you can buy this great classic book titled I know why the caged bird sings from the following sites:
Read reviews on I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
Editorial reviews about the book
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin
From the Publisher
Abandoned by her parents, Angelou and her brother, Bailey, spent their early years in the care of a strong grandmother in Stamps, AR, where they first experienced racial discrimination. At age eight, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend and lost her willingness to speak to anyone other than her trusted brother. With strong language and sexual content, this remarkably frank memoir is a frequent target of booking-banning proponents. (SLJ 11/03)
5.0 out of 5 stars It is amazing that we can hear Dr
Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2017
Here’s my review on one of the three books that I’ve read by Maya Angelou:
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: Smiling Through Sadness
Maya Angelou’s first memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, captures the sweetest, purest, and the most honest inner voice of a black child who grew up to be a heroine. Dr. Angelou does not censor anything; She wants us to know it all. It is so true, straightforward, and uncensored that many white parents have attempted to ban this book from schools. This memorable and mysterious autobiography – originally published in 1969 – was followed by another masterpiece entitled: Gather Together In My Name. Both books are available in audio format recorded by Random House Audio. It is amazing that we can hear Dr. Angelou reading her own books to us just like a grandmother putting us to sleep with her adventurous bed-time stories.
Dr. Maya Angelou, who has been honored and awarded numerous times, is a pure soul writing about the evil world of the racist America keeping a matching voice on each chapter of her life. When she is writing about her experiences as a five-year-old, you hear a five-year-old talking to you. Being one of the most recognized public figures and a civil rights movement’s heroine, Maya Angelou, gives us a poetic journey of how a poor disadvantaged black girl was rejected by everyone including her own mother, raped by her mother’s boyfriend, and had to witness his crippled uncle hiding under a pile of onions and potatoes to be protected from racist white beasts on a regular basis. The good news is that the story of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings does not end here. This bird sings her heart out until the cage breaks and she becomes our national treasure.
This powerful modern American classis has changed many readers’ (and listeners’) hearts and minds in a way that every great work of literature should. This book became the best-seller immediately after it was published. What added to my personal itch to read this book when I was first introduced to it was the fact that Dr. Angelou has described William Shakespeare as one of her strongest influence on her life and works. Shakespeare is my all-time favorite “pennist.”
Buy it, read it, keep it, reread it, highlight it, talk about it, advertise it, buy more of it and give it out as a gift, learn from it, and apply what you’ve learned from it in your daily life. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is coming from a heart and soul of someone who had to witness the unnecessary, harsh, and brutal insults that no ordinary human being can bear. Maya Angelou writes the story of a human who was pushed to her limits by the ugliness of this world and while being in a saddest cage, sang the happiest song. Once precious Maya Angelou told her younger generation that seem to be unable to cope with the racism in the past and present:
“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
Helen the Swimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Why am I reading this amazing book so late in life?
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2018
Maya Angelou is, of course, very famous, and the title of this book is known to most people. For years, with a few exceptions, I have been reading nonfiction. I have been intensely interested in a few subjects, which changed somewhat as I grew older, but rarely turned to fiction. It was no doubt because of an attempt to remedy my ignorance that I picked this up, as well as the fact that it was only two dollars on Book Bub. I now understand why Maya Angelou was such a giant figure in American literature. In rich, sometimes poetic language, she brings the reader into her world of social tensions and appreciation of her culture. She is able to demonstrate the degree of her strength and intelligence, and I came to a great appreciation of this major writer.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this book! I’ve heard about it for years, seen it referenced in other books and movies, yet I always avoided reading it myself. After coming across it again on the Amazon store, I decided to go ahead. Maybe I would get bored one day and skim it. Oh my goodness.
As soon as I started reading it, I didn’t stop. Starting at 7:00 pm., by the time the birds signaled dawn, I finished the last page with tears in my eyes.
Aside from the obviously touching story, Maya Angelou is a truly gifted writer. She was able to transform her writing as her character (herself) aged. She wrote from the mind of a child in the beginning, and by the end, she had a new maturity. Beautiful. Worth all the accolades it’s received thus far.
1.0 out of 5 stars Caution: This book contains some heavy content
Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2021
My daughter did online school this year in high school. She had to choose two books from a list to read at the end of the year. This was one of those books. I happened to be out of reading material, so I grabbed this book to read. It was hard to read what Maya went through in life. She was an overcomer. I will continue to share some delegations, so further reading will contain spoiler alerts. Maya was raped by her mom’s live in boyfriend at the age of 8. Her brother was having sex before a teenager and she was the “baby” on the lookout. She loved a book that first introduced homosexuality to her and found herself aroused by her friend (female) that was undressing at her house. She then propositioned a neighborhood boy for sex, and I never did finish the book. I just wanted to give a heads up. I know some will be totally fine with this book, and it does have high reviews. However, if you are on the more conservative end of the spectrum, this will most likely not be a book you want your teenager to read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable book by a Remarkable Woman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 3, 2019
The subject – a black woman brought up in the Deep South surrounded by bigotry and poverty – touches themes all too familiar to many but it is the writer’s treatment of the material, thoughtful, measured, often amusing and never self-indulgent, communicated through the medium of a remarkably rich style of writing, which leaves the reader with a much deeper understanding of all the players involved at the time. In addition to the author there are some very memorable women, in particular Angelou’s grandmother and her mother, the remarkable Vivian Baxter. The men, apart from her brother, Bailey, are lesser, more peripheral beings on the whole. The writer writes of attitudes within the black community of which she is very gently critical, again in a thoughtful, completely unjudgemental way, and in that same, very muted, tone warns against victim complexes being sometimes unhelpful. Equality is about all being equal, having the same rights and opportunities, whether white or black, not vengeance for appalling ignorance, racist attitudes and shocking behaviour. This is a book written with great humanity and great dignity.
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2018
I read this book many years ago whilst a teenager myself and loved it. I fell upon it again completely by accident and read it in a day and a half. It was better this time round as I have so much more understanding of the struggles, fights and hardness of life. I also recognise the sheer wonderment of the good things in life too. Her passions and loyalties, betrayals and endeavours are all told in a heart warming heart wrenching book that all should read or be studied at school like mice and men or to kill a mocking bird.
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