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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Harper Perennial…
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (original 1943; edition 2006)

by Betty Smith (Author)

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13,432376309 (4.32)1 / 877
The story of the Nolan family, including daughter Francie, and life in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn during the early part of the 20th century.
Member:NickPoff
Title:A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Authors:Betty Smith (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2006), 528 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Author) (1943)

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1940s (12)
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GroupGroup TopicTopicMessagesLast Message 
 75 Books Challenge for 20…A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Group Read (August 1, 2012)60 unread / 60JDHomrighausen, August 2012
 
 

» See also 877 mentions

English (359)  Spanish (5)  Italian (3)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (373)
Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)
One of my favorites. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn tells the tale of a family from the 1900s, and chronicles the life of the daughter, Francie Nolan. I first read this my freshman year of high school, and was so in love with it that I finished the entire thing within a week. It is incredibly engaging, heartbreaking, and is probably my #1 favorite. Highly recommend. ( )
  Keziah_456 | Sep 28, 2020 |
Somehow I never connected with the character(s). It's interesting to read the details of life in the poor sections of Brooklyn in the early 1900s but not interesting enough. I like a tough person who overcomes adversity but Francie Nolan did not particularly stand out for me, among the many similar stories out there. I don't know why some books will bring me in and keep me and others, like this one, leave me on the sidelines. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan 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.

Source: Publisher

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a 1943 semi-autobiographical novel written by Betty Smith. The story focuses on an impoverished but aspirational adolescent girl and her family living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, during the first two decades of the 20th century. The book was an immense success.
Source: Wikipedia
  Shiseida.Aponte | Sep 8, 2020 |
Really enjoyed reading this book. It was soft and sort of bittersweet in many ways. Francis is a very sympathetic protagonist, and following her life is a wish for better things and fear of your hopes being crushed. Sometimes, books can be windows into another person's life, which you could otherwise never understand. That doesn't happen too often to me because I overanalyze books. But I found myself somehow completely immersed in Francis' world and revelling at her persona.
( )
  stormnyk | Aug 6, 2020 |
My absolutely favorite book of all time. I will love Francee forever! ( )
  Jolene.M | Jul 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, BettyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burton, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillard, Anniesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fields, AnnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, BarnabyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagani, DanielaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pietribiasi, AntonellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quindlen, AnnaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stasolla, MarioIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly. . .survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth. It would be considered beautiful except that there are too many of it.
Dedication
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Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.
Quotations
Francie came away from her first chemistry lecture in a glow. In one hour she had found out that everything was made up of atoms which were in continual motion. She grasped the idea that nothing was ever lost or destroyed. Even if something was burned up or left to rot away, it did not disappear from the face of the earth; it changed into something else—gases, liquids, and powders. Everything, decided Francie after that first lecture, was vibrant with life and there was no death in chemistry. She was puzzled as to why learned people didn’t adopt chemistry as a religion.
Dear God, let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well-dressed. Let me be sincere- be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.
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The story of the Nolan family, including daughter Francie, and life in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn during the early part of the 20th century.

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Book description
Francie Nolan, avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature, has much to ponder in colorful, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. She grows up with a sweet, tragic father, a severely realistic mother, and an aunt who gives her love too freely--to men, and to a brother who will always be the favored child. Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. She is her father's child--romantic and hungry for beauty. But she is her mother's child, too--deeply practical and in constant need of truth. Like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, resourceful Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive.
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