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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  297,660 Ratings  ·  15,428 Reviews
The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1943)
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Jim It might not be an easy book for some but based on your books I think you will do fine. It is engrossing and well written. It is well worth it just to…moreIt might not be an easy book for some but based on your books I think you will do fine. It is engrossing and well written. It is well worth it just to understand what life was like then.(less)

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Khanh (the Grinch)
May 28, 2015 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it it was amazing
Some books give young girls dreams of ponies, kittens, and visions of eternal love. This book is not one of them.

If I were to make a metaphor, this book would be the equivalent of the ice bucket challenge. It offers no platitudes, it is harsh, realistic. It slaps you in the face with reality, a reality that is very rarely pleasant.

And it is also one of the best young adult books I have ever read.

I first read this book as a young teen, perhaps when I was 13 or 14. The main lesson I learned from i
Maggie Campbell
Jan 05, 2012 Maggie Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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."

"Don't say that. It's not better to die. W
Jun 30, 2008 Casey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
{Yup, I'm reading it AGAIN.}

I sob, and I mean sob, every time I read this book. It's such a simple story--Francie Nolan is a smart little girl who's trying to find beauty in her sometimes ugly, always poverty-stricken life. Her adored father is wonderful, but too plagued by his own demons to support his family. Her mother loves her children fiercely but is often harsh because she thinks it's her job to keep them grounded in reality (oh, and she seems to love Francie's brother more). Her aunt is
Raghad Frehat
Oct 21, 2016 Raghad Frehat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Raghad by: Heba

وإن سألتني الآن عن أفضل رواية قرأتها سأقول بلا شك شجرة تنمو في بروكلين :D

شجرة تنمو في بروكلين من الروايات التي تجبرك على أن تعيش كل لحظة فيها
.تلك القصة الرائعة الكلاسيكية
قصة يحاول أبطالها محاربة الفقر والجهل والجوع
من الصعب التوقف عن قراءة هذا الكتاب , كلما أريد التوقف أرى نفسي بادئة في الفصل الجديد
هي قصة وليست أي قصة . هي قصة عائلة آل نولان

Corbis JS1566230
بعض الكتب تصيبك في البداية بخيبة الأمل والإحباط لكن سرعان ما تثبت لك أن لا بد من وجود الأمل وأن الأشياء الجيدة ستحصل بالتأكيد!

هل أتكلم عن فرانسي نولان التي
Peter Derk
Apr 27, 2012 Peter Derk rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Well, the tree grows very slowly and with exhaustive detail.

Couldn't get through this one. Actually, that's not entirely true. I could have. And I don't mean that in the way of a mountain climber who just couldn't make it to the top and then warps reality by looking back at it. No, it's more like "couldn't" as in "I couldn't eat another hashbrown from my McDonald's breakfast." Sure, I COULD have. It just didn't seem worth the pain.

I get why this book is a classic, I think. My brother and I argue
Rinda Elwakil

طالما كان جوابي علي سؤال : (ما هي روايتك المفضلة؟) هو أن لم يخطر اسم معين ببالي بمجرد قرائتي للسؤال، و لذلك يمكنني القول أني لم أجدها بعد.



في عامي الثاني و العشرين
شجرة تنمو في بروكلين روايتي المفضلة.

فرانسي نولان أجمل فتاة في العالم، أحبك.

Aug 17, 2007 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-classics
Betty Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" has been passed down through at least three or four generations and is highly regarded as a classic novel perfect for any young adult bent on entering adulthood and escaping from the gaping clutches of a complicated childhood.
While it was not for those reasons that I first picked up "Brooklyn," I came to regard it as one of the finest books that I had ever read. At first glance, it is a very deceitful book: short; words spaced nicely apart; and, a largis
Francie stood on tiptoe and stretched her arms wide. "Oh, I want to hold it all!" she cried. "I want to hold the way the night is - cold without wind. And the way the stars are so near and shiny. I want to hold all of it tight until it hollers out, 'Let me go! Let me go!'"

The title of this novel refers to a tree that grows persistently up through the concrete and harsh conditions of a poor tenement neighborhood in early 1900s Brooklyn. But it is also a metaphor for the novel's protagonist, Franc
Afaf Ammar
Jan 03, 2017 Afaf Ammar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, مترجم
"لم تكن تلك الشجرة الوحيدة في فناء بيت فرانسي شجرة صنوبر أو شوكران. بل كانت شجرة ذات أوراق إبرية تنمو عبر إنحناءات خضراء تنطلق من غصونها فتبدو وكأنها تحمل مظلات خضراء مفتوحة. كان البعض يطلق عليها إسم شجرة الجنة".


عزيزتي فرانسي..
بعد تفكير طويل هل أكتب عنكِ أم أكتب إليك؟ ِ، وجدت أن قلبي يدفعني إلى أن أكتب إليكِ.

فرانسي فتاتي المذهلة، أكتب إليكِ من مكان ٍ بعيد ومن زمنٍ أبعد لأخبرك أنني أحبكِ، و أعرف أنكِ فتاة ذكية ولن تسألي نفسكِ كيف يمكن لإنسان بعيد بعد الزمان والمكان أن يحب إنساناً آخر دون أن ير

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a quiet, gentle, understated and yet at the same time unexpectedly scathing at times book that offers a window (or a view from a fire escape, if you please) into a little corner of the world a century ago, and yet still has the power to resonate with readers of today.

After all, the world has moved forward, yes, but the essential human soul remains the same, and the obstacles in human lives - poverty, inequality, cruelty, and blind self-righteousness - are in no dange
Jun 16, 2009 Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High school students, U.S. history classes
Recommended to Sparrow by: Amanda Coleman
It is a tribute to Jeanette Walls that I could not get through this book without comparing it dozens of times to The Glass Castle, with The Glass Castle coming off as its genius granddaughter or fashionable little sister. I probably should have read this first, as a child or teenager, but it’s too late for that now. No regrets! I could not help wondering why Betty Smith wrote this story as fiction rather than memoir, and the fact of it being fiction made me notice a lack of complexity in Francie ...more
I felt like the last person in the world to have read this book, and based on what everyone has said about it over the years, I expected this to be the next best thing after the Crispy Potato Soft Taco at Taco Bell. But as I read the first 200 pages, I thought everyone was out of their freaking minds. This, I thought, is what everyone has been raving about for as long as I can remember? I even did a quick peek at my GR friends list - you people love this book. I couldn't figure out why.

It starte
Sep 07, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who find humanity in words
Coffee stains form tiny trails across the cover of my copy, which goes to show how long I stayed with this book. Although written with lucid simplicity, as one would expect from a bildungsroman, I read it slowly. I savored each moment with Francie, a girl with whom I found so much in common (to say how is to tell a meandering story, for our childhoods are so different and yet so similar). Perhaps this is the appeal of this American classic, its transcendence into the psyche of each reader's chil ...more
Ali AlShewail
Sep 03, 2016 Ali AlShewail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ali by: Heba
"أعتقد أن من الممتع أن يشعر أشخاص مثلنا أن بإمكانهم رمي بعض الأشياء من وقت لآخر مثل هؤلاء الذين يملكون مالا كثيرا ولا يقلقون إذا رموا شيئا"

لو كان الفقر رجلا لقتلته , قالها الإمام علي بن أبي طالب -كرم الله وجهه- من قرون وما زالت ترددها الأجيال و الرجال من بعده .

هذة رواية الفقر و الفاقة , عسر الحال و الكفاح , النحت فى الصخر و مداعبة شظف الحياة , رواية إنسانية و قصة كفاح تنضح بالحب و البساطة و الحكمة و هي غاية فى الشجن و غاية فى الرقة الممتزجة بآلام العوز و الحاجة كفنتها و دفنتها فى قاعها النفس ال
B the BookAddict
Feb 12, 2015 B the BookAddict rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Most readers
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Anastasia
Shelves: favorites

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is the story of Francie (Frances) Nolan growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in 1912. Over the years, it has been called a timeless classic, a description which will undoubtedly remain steadfast.

“Francie’s mother is small and pretty but steely and tough but her father is warm and charming and, above all, a prisoner of his need for drink.”* Kate, the mother, is the breadwinner of the family, clean houses for the money, which feeds, clothes and keep the family warm (when t

ثمة حياة تقف أمامها عاجزاً متأملاً لا تعرف ما الذي يُمكنك كتابته بشأنها وهذة إحداها..

رأيت الحزن يقتات على عينيكِ يا عزيزتي " فرانسي" منذ وفاة والدك..
لقد كنتِ تُحبينه لأنه كان يدرك إنك شجاعة وقوية ولكن لا يمنع ذلك من كونك بحاجة للتشجيع والحب والاهتمام..
بالرغم من أن والدتك كان لها الفضل في أن تكوني وأخاكِ صادقين ولا تتقبلا صدقة من أحد وحرصت على أن يكون العلم هو ما تتمكنا به مواجهة الحياة إلا إنها للأسف فشلت في أن تهب لكِ القدر الذي يليق بكِ من الحب وذلك لإنها كانت تعلم إنك قادرة على أن تجتازي درب
May 16, 2011 Daniella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my absolute favorite book of all time.

While the story is set at the turn of the century (1902-1919) and contains many historical elements that may feel alien to the modern reader, the message that is subtly and intricately woven into the fabric of the story is one that I feel not only transcends the ages, but also one with which many of us can identify.

The protagonist, Francie, and her family represent the sort of wonderfully complex characters who come alive in the r
Aug 10, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
No words can express the love I have for this book. Pure Perfection for this reader. It will be added to the favorite shelf.

In Betty Smith's classic, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, she re-creates the challenging world of extreme poverty, starvation and hardship that she grew up in as a girl and teen in the Williamsburg slums from 1902-1919.

As an avid reader, it is hard not to fall in love with Francie, her love of books and the explosive excitement she feels from learning and attaining her goals. The more I became acquainted with the Nolan family, I just did not want the story to en

♕Miss A♕
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This book has so many beautiful lines which have a lot of depth. A true classic.
Stacey (prettybooks)
This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
I was watching a video by Priscilla at The Readables when I came across it. Priscilla gave it an amazing review and so I asked for it for Christmas – over 3 years ago!

WHY I Chose to Read It
I chose to read it because I've had it for so long that it was about time. And this year I discovered that it was one of the most popular books on my TBR, much to my surprise.

WHAT Makes It A Classic
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn probably
Nov 16, 2016 Roya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quite-good
This is a coming of age novel about a girl named Francie Nolan. As the title indicates, she lives in Brooklyn. Although the Nolans are poor, they love each other very much. Francie constantly reminded me of Matilda thanks to her love of reading - she reads one book every day! Even though the story could have simply been about her, it focused on most of the other characters as well. It was nice to see what everyone was going through, but it also showcases Smith's talent. Even though there are dar ...more
Shayantani Das
Jun 18, 2012 Shayantani Das rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who liked Little Women.
“Dear God," she prayed, "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.”

When I was just 10 pages i
Paula W
Nov 04, 2016 Paula W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Laurie's going to have a mighty easy life all right."
"Annie Laurie McShane! She'll never have the hard times we had, will she?"
"No. And she'll never have the fun we had, either."
"Gosh! We did have fun, didn't we, Neeley?"
"Poor Laurie," said Francie pityingly.

God bless the Francie Nolans of the world -- those who find beauty in the rundown Brooklyn tenements, hold onto hope in the darkest of times, appreciate the little things, and find the meaning of life in an intro to chemistry class
helen the bookowl
Sep 26, 2015 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautiful story about Francie and her poor family struggling through life in Brooklyn in the 1900s. It is told from Francie's point-of-view, but through the pages you feel a deep connection to the rest of the family as well, which just makes the story even more touching.
I especially loved how some of the sentences and paragraphs in this book were poignant because they were very true and honest. I often had to stop and reread a passage just because it hit spot on and described life pe
Mar 20, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I think my mom once said that this was her favorite book, and yet somehow I hadn’t read it until now. In my early teens, I remember coming across a paperback edition that had been lying around the house … and not making it past the first couple pages. The writing was way over my head (which had been addled by too much fluff reading of Baby-sitters Club, probably).

It’s probably for the best, though, for while this book centers around the young girl Francie Nolan, this coming-of-age story is appro
Shahad jeza
May 13, 2016 Shahad jeza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf
عائلة نولان ،،،،
تلك العائلة المكافحة التي تعلمت كيف تعيش في أقسى الظروف
كيف تصنع السعادة بأبسط الأشياء كأغنية لجوني أو الاجتماع على القهوة الساخنة
كيف تحل مشاكلها وتفك أزماتها بدون الحاجة لمساعدة أحد وبكل كرامة وعزة نفس


الأب ( جوني ) : على الرغم من أنه سكير إلا أنه كان مهتما بعائلته لأبعد الحدود كان مصدر السعادة لزوجته وأبناءه بأغانيه اللطيفة .

الأم : تلك المرأة المكافحة الصابرة ذات النفس العزيزة التي لا تقبل المساعدة والصدقات والتي تحاول ألا تظهر مشاعرها وتقدم لأبناءها كل ما تستطيع من مساعدة

Nov 15, 2008 Luann rated it it was amazing
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is another classic that I've always heard about, but never read - until now! And it's another one that I wish I had read sooner! If someone told me that this was an autobiography, I would believe it. It was extremely believable and well-written. Betty Smith completely drew me into Francie Nolan's world. I feel like I was there and lived that life with her - which is amazing because my life and experiences are very different from Francie's world as a poor young girl growi ...more

Thank you Jay Z for making me want to read this book. #RandomFact

I did a Review for this book on my BookTube channel! Check it out here: Top Books of 2015(Pt. 1).
May 04, 2016 عَـدن rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مهما قرأت من روايات، فأنا واثقة أن هذه الرواية ستكون واحدة من أجمل ما ستقرأ علی الإطلاق..
حسنا.. في البداية كنت أظن أنني سأشعر بالملل إذ كنت أبحث عن الخيوط التي منها ستبدأ الحبكة، وحين لم أجدها شعرت بالإحباط ولكنني ما بدأت أدرك أن الرواية بنيت هكذا، لتعتمد علی الوصف والحكايات أكثر من الأحداث لم أستطع أن أتوقف عن القراءة، الرواية نفسها كانت تمسك بي وتدفعني كي أقرأها..

تتناول الرواية حياة الطفلة فرانسي نولان، وقد استطاعت بيتي، مع كل التغيرات التي مرت بها فرانسي في الرواية التعامل مع شخصيتها بكل مر
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Betty Smith (AKA Sophina Elisabeth Wehner): Born- December 15, 1896; Died- January 17, 1972

Born in Brooklyn, New York to German immigrants, she grew up poor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These experiences served as the framework to her first novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (19
More about Betty Smith...

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“The world was hers for the reading.” 3506 likes
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