I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
After Maya Johnson, age five, is raped while visiting her mother in St. Louis, she and her older brother Bailey are returned to the loving care of Momma Henderson (the children’s grandmother) in Stamps, Arkansas. Because of her traumatic experience, Maya stops speaking – even five years after the incident. She becomes instead a keen observer of her surroundings, particularly with the racial politics and divisions in her town.