A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Paperback | January 18, 2005

byBetty Smith

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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.

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From the Publisher

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.

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.

other books by Betty Smith

Joy In The Morning: A Novel
Joy In The Morning: A Novel

Paperback|Jun 29 2010

$14.31 online$18.50list price(save 22%)
Maggie-Now: A Novel
Maggie-Now: A Novel

Paperback|Jan 24 2012


Gift Horse
Gift Horse

Kobo ebook|Nov 9 2010


see all books by Betty Smith
Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.85 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

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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

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Editorial Reviews

“One of the books of the Century.”