A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty SmithA Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

byBetty Smith

Paperback | January 18, 2005

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The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior-such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce-no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Betty Smith has artfully caught this sense of exciting life in a novel of childhood, replete with incredibly rich moments of universal experiences--a truly remarkable achievement for any writer.

Betty Smith (1896–1972) was a native of Brooklyn, New York. Her novelsA Tree Grows in Brooklyn,Tomorrow Will Be Better,Joy in the Morning, andMaggie-Nowcontinue to capture the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers worldwide.
Title:A Tree Grows In BrooklynFormat:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.84 inPublished:January 18, 2005Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060736267

ISBN - 13:9780060736262

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful story I loved this book, there were a few pages here and there that ran a little slow, but the story is beautiful and grew into a wonderful journey of life in the 1900s
Date published: 2018-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Amazing book. Great characters, great story. I have 2 copies of this book ....its been passed down. Very well written. A story reminiscent of many peoples childhoods. Ups and downs....about life.
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My absolute favourite! I am in love with this book, it's my favourite book of all time. This coming of age story was written beautifully and you get completely immersed into the world of Francie Nolan.
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book A very great book, written wonderfully.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring I'm in the minority, I found this story to be boring and plotless. That said, the historical context was interesting
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Priceless Such a simple story but told beautifully. I felt I agree with everything the protagonist Francie Nolan said. The writing was so beautiful that often times I had to stop and go back to savour it.
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful story This book is an absolutely wonderful story that everyone should take the time to read. It reminded me how much I truly love reading, and I honestly can't wait until I can re-read it.
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written I read this year's ago while on vacationing - just looking for something to read on the beach. As it was, I was sucked into this book, and couldn't put it down. Had my nose in it for days. This one will stay with you.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My All-Time Favourite Novel I first read this book more than fifteen years ago while a high school student. After all these years, it remains my favourite. Sure, it's a classic, but that's not why I re-read it every few years. The protagonist and her family are so well written and developed. The plot and setting continue to be highly engaging to me as a reader. I can't explain it, but I always felt some level of connection to Francie, though as I age, I become increasingly interested in Katie's story, and the stories of the women in her family.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Coming Of Age Tale A must read classic than never grows old and always have a new lesson to be learned in it.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More people need to read this book I reread this once every couple of years and every time I learn something new
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic My favourite book of all time
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The gold standard of coming of age stories Like other reviews, this is one of my all time favourites. It's one you will come back to again and again for its humanity, clarity and cultural snapshot. Really so good. A classic for a reason.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read! This is one of my favourite books. I first read it when I was in high school and I just reread it again, now in my early twenties. The story is a classic and is beautifully written. I love going back to the best of the best!
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books :) This is one of those books that just draws you in. The character development in this story is just perfect!!
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching, inspiring, hard to put down! In reality, this book is an uplifting, inspiring story of how one family, living in a poor neighbourhood of Brooklyn in the early 1900s, manage to not only survive, but to pull themselves up to better circumstances, through hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude. The main character in the book is a book-loving girl named Francie, who is a realistic, likeable character. In fact, all the characters in this book are realistic and likeable. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with these characters.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite I adore this book. It's such a moving, coming-of-age story, but really avoids being too corny or cheesy. It's the number one book I recommend to people.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorites of all time! This book is simply a beautiful story. A girl coming of age in a life surrounded by poverty and hardship, yet she still embraces love, life's little joys, and the smallest of luxuries. The main character manages to enjoy life and marvel in all the possibility that are available for one to grasp and take hold of. Life, to be lived well and to be lived to its fullest, is done with the spirit and attitude with with we choose to tackle it.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book! I read this book as a child, and again as an adult. I also bought a copy for my grandmother, who says she really enjoyed reading it as well. A beautiful book.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but didn't live up to the hype for me 3.5 stars This book tells the story of Francie as she grows up in Brooklyn in the early 20th century. I liked the book, but wasn't wowed by it like so many other people. It took quite a while for me to get into it at the start. I guess there is also some disappointment that it didn't live up to everyone's glowing reviews. Overall, it was still good, just nothing to really “write home about” for me.
Date published: 2013-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read I picked up this book because it is on so many 'Best Literature' lists and I absolutely loved it. It's beautifully written and keeps you completely engaged. It deserves to be on the 'Best Literature' lists. Definitely one of my all time favourites.
Date published: 2012-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Incredible Find I've been curious about this book for a long time. I spotted it at a drug store and I decided to see why I've seen it on so many lists of books that you need to read or should read or that are noteable in a certain category. I'm glad I did, as it is now one of my all-time favourite books. The book is set in the 1900s in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The book has no one distinct theme or subject matter and is often referred to as a "coming of age" story. It examines many things that make up a life or that one person experiences -- social status, love, family, illness, death, birth, crime, poverty, morality. I can understand why this book is often on many different "best of" and "top in this category" lists. It is just an incredible book with a unique style and with characters that stay with you. The character that we follow closely in the book is Francie, who begins the story as a 12-year old girl. The life of Francie and her family fascinates and wraps around you in a way that makes you feel like you are also involved in the story. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2010-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing! This book was amazing from beginning to end. I absolutely loved it and i will read it over and over. But contrary to what i thought it's not really a book for young girls. It's more for 15 year olds and up, i'd say.
Date published: 2010-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a great book i read this bok when i was 7 and fell in love with the character and with the story. I am 50 years older now and the book is just as entertainig now as it was then!!!!!!
Date published: 2009-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Francie Nolan is a role model for the ages When I first heard about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I wondered if I would be able to relate to the story of a young girl growing up in the early 1900s. In keeping with my memoir fascination, once I found out that the story was possibly influenced by the real life of Betty Smith, and that she shared the same birthday as the story’s heroine, Francie Nolan, I became more intrigued. In the back of the copy I have there is an article written by Smith’s daughter, about her mother, where she says, “She was always altering incidents to make them into stories. She often said about ‘Tree’ that she didn’t write it the way it was, but the way it should have been." Early 1900s or not, I had no problem relating to Francie, an avid reader of a book a day, who grew up in a household where her mother favoured her brother, and her father was a falling-down drunk. There were a few times where I stumbled on some of the fashion references, like a shoe accessory named ‘Spats,’ and a false shirt called a ‘dickey,’ but with a quick Google search I was in the know and felt as though I had learned something new for the day. The most important character of the novel, in my opinion, is Mary Rommely, Francie’s maternal grandmother. Mary believes in the importance of an active imagination, and feels that every child needs a place they can go to in their mind when life becomes difficult. Mary asserts her convictions to Francie’s mother, Katie, near the beginning of the novel, and informs her that she must read to her children everyday, and allow them to believe in fantasy worlds such as fairy tales and Kris Kringle. She also assures Katie that through education the cycle of poverty can be broken, as more opportunities will avail themselves to the children with the more knowledge they acquire. It is clear that but for the influence of this insightful woman, Francie may never have become the ambitious and creative dreamer we know her to be. Part of Francie’s innovative nature could also be attributed to her day dreaming father who forever lived with his head in the clouds. Torn between her father’s romantic world and the hard cold reality as seen through the eyes of her mother, Francie shapes herself into a fine balance of the two. Fortunately she acquires the strength that is common to the women in her family, and this combined with her intelligence and creativity proves to be unstoppable. You may find this classic in the young-adult section of your bookstore, but I can assure you it is not exclusive to this age group, as there are an abundance of life’s truths, beneficial to all, found throughout. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is inspiring, well written and honest in it’s descriptions of the good and evil that can be found in humanity. The circumstances with which Francie Nolan finds herself are timeless in their portrayal of family, survival and the loss of innocence, and this is one important novel that should be on every bookshelf. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2009-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book I Warmly Recommend. My teacher had recommended me this novel about 8 yrs, and only now did I finally decide to read it. It has become a favorite and one I will never forget. Taking place in the early 1900's in Brooklyn, a little girl named Francie goes through great ups and downs as she matures. It touches on themes such as poverty, alcoholism, social status, love, the importance of hard work and education, and family. You feel the struggles as Francie grows up and yet she always manages to find hope and joy in every situation she is confronted with. Her words are inspiring and will be remembered. Read this heartwarming book and enjoy Betty Smith's effortless writing style.
Date published: 2009-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very heartfelt. I purchased this book a while ago out of pure curiousity, and having enjoyed Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women,' I had a good feeling about this particular novel. It's one of my favourite books now, and Betty Smith has such a smooth writing style - subtle at times - but it keeps the plot moving at a nice pace. You begin to care about the characters and their individual stories. It's both a book about families but also individuals. The symmetry of the entire book ties up loose ends nicely but there is space for imagination. A very heartwarming read - I would definitely recommend this.
Date published: 2008-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Great Book This book is a wonderful story about a little girl growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. She is growing up in a poor section of brooklyn with her family. It goes through the ups and downs of the life of this family with the focus on the little girl Frances. It becomes harder and harder to think of them as charaters in a novel as they seem so real, you start to believe that they are real people. This is truley an interesting read and with its ups and downs it is never boring.
Date published: 2006-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutely Astonishing This book is poetic and beautiful. everything life should be.
Date published: 2006-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Similar books Also try, A Complicated Kindness, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.
Date published: 2005-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still love it I read this book in grade nine english for the first time. The story impacted my life then and it still does now. Years later I bought the book and read it again, and I think its a must read for anyone who likes realistic fiction. You feel the struggles of growing up in a New York suburb dirt poor. Francie's character is believable and I could relate and love every character in her family. Just writing the review makes me want to read it again. Its painful and wonderful, great read.
Date published: 2005-05-23

Editorial Reviews

“A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life. . . . If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience.”