Maya Angelou Finds Her Voice


By Connie Roop

cover image of Maya Angelou Finds Her Voice

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Inspired by a true story from Maya Angelou's childhood, this expertly researched and luminously illustrated picture book explores how a beloved mentor helped young Maya rediscover the poetry of self-expression and the power of her voice.
Maya Angelou loves words. She whispers, "caterpillar green," just to paint the color in her mind. Her tongue played with "pandemonium" to enjoy its rhythm. She sings the Negro national anthem and recites the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Words whirl and stories spin in Maya's head and off her lips, helping her escape her troubled, segregated world and soothe her soul.

Then, suddenly, eight-year-old Maya stops talking. She believes her words hurt somebody and now only deems them safe to share with her brother. Her family does what they can even as they get worried and frustrated, but it isn't until years later that someone opens Maya back up.

Mrs. Bertha Flowers, one of the most important citizens of Stamps, Arkansas, invites Maya to her home and talks to her about language and communication and reads to her from Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. Maya is transported by the power and singularity of Mrs. Flower's voice...and finally moved to inspire the world with her own.
Maya Angelou Finds Her Voice