Recently Banned or Challenged Books, Grades 9–12

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


In the autobiographical work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Maya poetically illustrates the difficulties of her childhood, including rape and racism.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was one of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2001, 2002, and 2004. The most common reasons cited for censorship were offensive language, racism, violence, and sexually explicit content.

Activity: Through this lesson plan for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, students will come to understand autobiography as a narrative form, the importance of role models, and the interplay of poetry and prose in the book.

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