By The Horn Book

In propulsive free verse and vibrant illustrations, Hegedus and Engel present the life and legacy of Maya Angelou (1928–2014). Angelou survived childhood anguish to thrive and to triumph, becoming a performer, dancer, journalist, activist, poet, mother, and humanitarian. Engel’s warm, swirling acrylic and oil paintings illustrate the various moods of the story, from the anticipation of journey and discovery to the looming shadow of the young girl’s abuser to the passionate work of the civil rights movement—and the metaphorical cage Angelou finds herself in after tragedy. The thoughtful back matter includes a detailed biographical timeline, photographs, an author’s note, websites of sexual assault organizations, selected bibliography, and quotation sources about this “phenomenal woman.