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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  326,157 Ratings  ·  17,078 Reviews
Please don't delete. This edition was published pre-ISBN.

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 favo
Hardcover, Illustrated Edition, 420 pages
Published by Harper & Row, 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, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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
Jul 11, 2007 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
May 08, 2007 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
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.

During my adolescent years a short run program on television was Brooklyn Bridge, a show about life in Brooklyn during the 1950s. The last line of the show's theme song was "that place just over the Brooklyn Bridge" will always be home to me. When I think of Brooklyn, my mind goes back to a more wholesome time when city children could stay out late and parents did not have to worry about their well being, where children frequented the penny candy store and rode on paper routes after school. This ...more
Peter Derk
Apr 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, usa
Loved it from page 1

Slow paced and really descriptive but I loved it.

I really enjoyed learning about life back then for the Nolans
Highs and lows of life and daily experience

I was so emotionally attached to Francie. She was a brillant character and I loved her to pieces
Diane S ☔
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My story of this book. I never read this back during my school days though I was probably given the opportunity. I had two elective English classes where we were given a choice between three books, this was probably one but I chose another. Sometime within the passing years I bought a copy and put it in the book shelf that is next to my television, where it has stared at me for years, subtly asking ng is it my turn yet? When my friend Brina said she was reading this book and did anyone want to r ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
I had heard of this book quite frequently, but for some reason or another never picked it up.

Then years ago, my book club decided to read it. What a Joy! What a Pleasure! I loved reading about this young girl who loved to read as much as I did. How I could relate to her love of going to the library and finding that special book - that treasure! Thus, this book became my treasure. It holds a place on my favorite book list!

Francie Nolan is a very poor young girl living in the slums of Williamsbur
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

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
Sherif Metwaly

مخطئ من يظن أن لدينا حياة واحدة لنعيشها، مادامت هناك روايات مثل شجرة تنمو في بروكلين

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
Meredith Holley
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High school students, U.S. history classes
Recommended to Meredith 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
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2016, classics
2.5 stars This book is loved by so many people that I think I expected too much from it. It's a good coming-of-age story that follows Francie Nolan as she grows up in Brooklyn during the early 1900's. I think most of the novelty of the story is how different our world is 100 years later. The writing didn't really do much for me—so much of it felt like things happening to Francie as opposed to her actually doing things. And that held me at a distance. I felt like Betty Smith was just telling me a ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ali by: Heba Nouraldeen
"أعتقد أن من المُمتع 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 ا
This may well be one of the top 5 books I have ever read. It is an amazing piece of fiction & one of those books that stays with you long after you've read it.

This was Betty Smith’s first novel and it is an American classic; it was an immediate bestseller when it was published in 1943. Smith drew from her own experience growing up in Brooklyn at the turn of the twentieth century to create the character of Francie Nolan. It’s story of a young girl learning to persevere – like the tree of the
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This book has so many beautiful lines which have a lot of depth. A true classic.
B the BookAddict
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Perfect. Absolutely perfect. The only thing that could have improved my experience with this book would have been finding it fifteen years sooner. I wish twelve year-old me had known this book existed, and had been able to experience the life of Francie Nolan when we were closer to the same age. But even as an adult, I’ve found a kindred spirit in this scrappy little girl from Brooklyn, and watching her grow up and experience both heartaches and triumph was one of the most wonderful reading jour ...more
Raeleen Lemay
I'm just soooo not into this right now. Maybe I'll pick it up again at a later date!
Aug 05, 2008 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 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

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
ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone!
Shelves: favorites
Why, oh why, did I wait until I was 30 to read this?!?

I’ve been missing out, all these years, relishing in the indelible mark this story will forever have left on me. I think I let the fact that the main character was a child lead me to believe the story was childish…but boy was I wrong. I actually appreciate a read that helps me to decipher my own childhood and ponder my own experiences and how they shaped me into who I am today. Both the good things and the bad!

It’s so sad to have to say good
Paula W
Nov 04, 2016 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
Another American classic finally read. I'm very glad to have finally experienced this book. It was really more than I expected, a wonderful story of a young girl growing up in early twentieth century Brooklyn with her parents and brother. The life was hard with family foremost but not perfect. The details were perfect, from the multiple uses for bread to stretch out meals to details from school experiences to conversations between mother and daughter revealing depths of honesty and past despair. ...more
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The Great America...: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (and why we love libraries) 24 41 1 hour, 7 min ago  
Verbeelding Bookclub: 2018 - Juni boek 10 38 Jun 21, 2018 01:12AM  
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Books and Jams Re...: Book Four and Final thoughts 8 26 Apr 27, 2018 01:43PM  
Books and Jams Re...: Book Two 8 24 Apr 25, 2018 07:12PM  
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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
“The world was hers for the reading.” 3774 likes
“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” 2383 likes
More quotes…