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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Maggie-Now by…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Maggie-Now (1943)

by Betty Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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171769,515 (4.5)4



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Probably one of my favorite stories as an adolescent.
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  gtischendorf | Nov 29, 2014 |
My sister gave me Maggie Now to read many years ago but never got to the end of it before I had to return it to her. One day I will manage to get my hands on a copy and complete reading it. I know that I readlly enjoyed the story but would have to start at the beginning of it again. I liked it every bit as much as I enjoyed A Tree grows in Brooklyn.
  ahumphrey62254 | Oct 2, 2009 |
I love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Maggie-Now is not as stellar, but still a good read. It is set in Brooklyn during the early 1900's. This is a quiet story. It tells about ordinary people, who never do anything particularly spectacular. It shows how they live day-to-day (interesting in a historical sense), how Maggie and all those of her family connect to each other, reach out to their neighbors, influence and touch each other with their lives. In many ways the story is unbearably sad, ironic and unfulfilling. All Maggie wants is to pour herself into others, to care for them and feel needed. And yet the man keeps secrets from her, and her father tries to make everyone miserable. I'll never understand it, but that's what compels me about the story.

DogEar Diary ( )
  jeane | Aug 14, 2009 |
Somehow I made it to this point in my life without reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I can't remember a time when the title and author weren't familiar to me, but I didn't know anything about the book beyond its title. When we dispersed my grandmother's library, I kept her book club copy, but it's been sitting untouched on my bookshelf for years. I finally picked it up last week. I wish I hadn't waited so many years to read it. I couldn't wait to finish the book, and yet I was sorry to come to the end.

My book club edition includes an author's note, written several years after the book's initial publication. The author mentions the many letters she had received from readers who saw their own lives reflected in the story of Francie Nolan. Sixty-plus years later, I think readers will still identify with Francie. Even though the story is firmly rooted in Brooklyn, Francie experiences what we all go through in the transition from childhood to young adulthood. I think it would be a good selection for high school students with its emphases on the importance of education, family, responsibility, dignity, compassion, resiliency, and hope. It would also be a good book for mothers and daughters to share together.

I haven't read Maggie-Now yet, but if it's even half as good as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I have a treat waiting for me. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Jul 26, 2009 |
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all time favorite books. I first read it as a teenager and re-read it about once every five years or so. The story begins in 1912 when Francie Nolan is 11 years old. She lives in Brooklyn, New York at a period of time when Brooklyn is teeming with new immigrants, unemployment and poverty; the true melting pot of American history. This is a wonderful coming of age story, and Betty Smith paints a hopeful and life-afirming picture of an American era of poor European immigrants in the heart of New York City, and the hardships and hopes of families exploited by the rise of the industrial revolution and its abuses. But in spite of these hardships, this story is about the binding ties of family and community and the hope of living the great American dream. Francie struggles into her teen years at a time when America is struggling through its own adolescence, with all of the angst and potential that implies. Francie is bright and sensitive and has a love of reading and learning. She sit's on her fire escape under the leaves of her "Tree of Heaven", reading her books and dreaming. How can you not love a girl who's goal is to read every book in her local library in alphabetical order. I'd like to do that myself! ( )
  loriephillips | Aug 1, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, Bettyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergere, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 grating. 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.
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Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, NY.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060001941, Hardcover)

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. Betty Smith's poignant, honest novel created a big stir when it was first published over 50 years ago. Her frank writing about life's squalor was alarming to some of the more genteel society, but the book's humor and pathos ensured its place in the realm of classics--and in the hearts of readers, young and old. (Ages 10 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:31 -0400)

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A poignant tale of childhood and the ties of family, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" will transport the reader to the early 1900s where a little girl named Francie dreamily looks out her window at a tree struggling to reach the sky.

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