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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn & Maggie-Now

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  615 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Hardcover, 733 pages
Published October 1st 1947 by HarperCollins
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(showing 1-30 of 1,157)
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Apr 23, 2013 Mightyshyguy rated it it was amazing
This book showed me that, more than money, happiness is a good character, family and friends. The riches of life are the moments you take with you into old age.

Also this is my new favorite book. it lives under my pillow until i read something else that will inspire me.
Rosalynd Doneghy
Aug 09, 2012 Rosalynd Doneghy rated it it was amazing
A perennial favorite! I first read this book about a young girl when I was in elementary school. Written in 1943 and set in the early 1900s this story is an unique coming of age novel.The book explores the life of eleven-year-old Francie Nolan and the rest of her Irish American Family. The book gives readers a unique glimpse into the hardscrabble lives of the families living in the tenements Brooklyn circa 1919. Through Francie and her younger brother Neely, the reader experiences how the wonder ...more
Harold Titus
Jun 11, 2012 Harold Titus rated it it was amazing
I need to be reminded periodically of what a masterful writer’s attention to detail, character portrayal, and replication of human kindnesses and cruelties accomplishes. Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is an excellent example.

This book is about poor people in Brooklyn living against the odds before and during World War I. It is especially about strong women – the Rommely women – Mary, the grandmother; Mary’s three daughters Sissy, Katie, and Evy; and most particularly granddaughter Fra
Brandon H
Sep 29, 2015 Brandon H rated it it was amazing

The books takes place in 1912 about a poor family named Nolan in Williamsburg Brooklyn. There is a tree named the tree of heaven.The first event is that Katie and Johnny are married. Next event is Francie and Neely start school. The third event is the fact that Johnny dies of pneumonia and alcoholism. The last event is that Katie marries McShane.The main characters are in the book is Francie Nolan ,Katie Nolan, Johnny, sissy,and Katie .She sets the tone for the novel.I do agree with their action
Dec 29, 2010 Cerese rated it really liked it
I love historical biographies, and this is a unique window into a transitional time in American history and the evolutions of a city. It is primarily though, about one girl and her family in Brooklyn, as they brave poverty, alcoholism and everyday trials. All the while her perspective is positive and prosaic. Very enjoyable.
Jun 26, 2012 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
I have probably read this book 5 times and never tire of it. A wonderful book to give a preteen or teen grandchild.
Oct 21, 2011 Mia rated it it was amazing
I have loved this book for as long as I can remember. I read it for the 1st time when I was in 6th or 7th grade and I know there was much I did not understand @ the time but I did understand Francie - more accurately, I felt Betty Smith understood me.
I wasn't a tenement girl - I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in a large city in the mid - west. I loved to read and dreamed of one day being a writer.
I didn't read one book a day(I'm still trying to figure out how Francie did!)but I was
Colleen Lorimer
May 20, 2015 Colleen Lorimer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-books
Really nice story of early 1900's in NYC..... hardship in life.... well written.... would recommend it
Feb 20, 2014 Vanna added it
My favorite book! it is a coming of age story. A bit sordid but beautiful and always relevant to my life.
Pam George
Jan 07, 2015 Pam George rated it it was amazing
This was one of my mother's favorite books. I'm so glad I finally took the time to read it.
This book about a girl name francie and she is in a poor family and in the middle of the story her dad die and her mom had a baby, and it was just her brother, her mom, the baby girl and herself.
I can connect this to begging for change because the girl's family was poor and her dad was a drunk and a liked to use alot of drug and left her mom.
I give this book a five stars and because it had a meaning,to is the family was poor and then they became middle class because the mom marry the cop.
Linda Nash
Jan 05, 2014 Linda Nash rated it it was amazing
How could it have taken me so long to read this book? I read it after retiring, trying to save money, reading books from a local library. It was a wonderful experience, to feel and see such detail about the time when my parents grew up.
Mar 23, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it
I still really enjoyed this book even after the re-read 40 some years later.
Renae Pereira
Aug 24, 2012 Renae Pereira rated it it was amazing
I love a book that can transport me to it's time period, which this book did so well. I love being challenged to research items mentioned to understand what they are. For example having to research Spats and dying of Consumption. The details were beautifully done and you feel as if you know each of the characters, there flaws and strengths, personally when you come to the end.
Jul 04, 2013 Dana rated it really liked it
There is something about Smith's work that I just love. There is this simple honesty that draws me in, to the story, to the characters, to everything. I had read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn years ago, and it is still my favorite of Smith's novels. Maggie-Now was new to me, and while it wasn't my favorite, I did love the story.
Jenny Bates
Jun 20, 2012 Jenny Bates rated it it was amazing
I have read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn numerous times. I had to read it again. The first time I read it was in fourth grade. I don't think I "got it," But I do remember liking it. But I think Betty Smith is a classic writer in her own right and I look forward to reading more of her stuff.
Aug 27, 2013 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Betty Smith has a unique way of telling a story about old Williamsburg and living in dire poverty. Francie, the story's main character, wins your heart. I would re-read this, no questions asked. It's a story that stays with you, well after the ending.
May 02, 2011 kathryn rated it liked it
second time to read tree grows-i have not read Maggie Now. I found the melodrama a bit much at the end in this one and alittle too easy of an ending but still some great images and an amazing feat to grow up in new york in the 1900s-how did they survive?!
Jun 14, 2013 Kimberly rated it liked it
At times, the story dragged on and on. Francie was really clueless through most of her life. I also was disappointed in the ending. I'd like to know what she finally did with her life, and see if she finally figured anything out.
Apr 29, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
A great character book. Not an adventure, or lots of movement, but well worth the read for just getting to know the people and the time era. New York from the poor persons standpoint at turn of the last century.
Tiffany Elgan
Nov 13, 2015 Tiffany Elgan rated it liked it
While both these books are written really well and you really feel transported to Brooklyn during the early 20th century, I thought they were really depressing. I would probably give both books a 3.5 rating.
Meghan Mcgarrigle
Jun 12, 2013 Meghan Mcgarrigle rated it it was amazing
This is my most favorite book of all time. It's not the best book I've ever read but it's so comforting to come back to. I've probably read it 20 or more times.
Jul 31, 2014 Tania rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was one of the best books I've ever read, ever. I don't know what I will read next, as nothing will compare. Let the the book hangover begin...x
Indigo Cat
May 27, 2012 Indigo Cat rated it it was ok
Maybe I was just sleepy, but I felt that this book didn't really have a real plot. Mostly, it was just a very detailed story of Francie's life.
Linda Rucker
Feb 06, 2014 Linda Rucker rated it it was amazing
I read it as a teenager and again in my retirement years. Both times I loved it but with a totally different appreciation and perspective.
Chris Eirschele
May 19, 2013 Chris Eirschele marked it as to-read
Of course a classic, often assigned to kids in school. I respect under the circumstances Betty Smith accomplished writing her book.
Nov 19, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to follow~! I am glad I read it before I watched the movie. The book was much better.
Erin Baird
Sep 09, 2013 Erin Baird rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book. I really felt like I knew and understood the characters. I couldn't put this book down.
Aug 22, 2010 Tara rated it really liked it
I loved this book! A Coming of age story where the character was not perfect, but they were not an idiot either.
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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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