Marika Gillis's Reviews > A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  Smith
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's review
Sep 06, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from September 06 to October 02, 2011

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant book that tells the life story of Francie, a girl growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1900s.

It's hard to describe how great this book is because it covers the span of Francie's life and the small, and even smaller, events that shape her into the person she becomes. Francie is a delightful character- likeable and relateable- and the development of her personality through the course of the novel was artfully done.

The book doesn't have much specific to tell about it (or maybe there is just too much to share to even know where to start), yet it is a wonderful read. It took me about a month to finish the it (back in October of 2011!) and it almost felt as though the story were being told in real time. But, it is a book to savor and I felt like that is exactly what I was doing!

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Quotes Marika Liked

Betty  Smith
“Oh, magic hour when a child first knows it can read printed words!

For quite a while, Francie had been spelling out letters, sounding them and then putting the sounds together to mean a word. But, one day, she looked at a page and the word "mouse" had instantaneous meaning. She looked at the word, and a picture of a gray mouse scampered through her mind. She looked further and when she saw "horse," she heard him pawing the ground and saw the sun glint on his glossy coat. The word "running" hit her suddenly and she breathed hard as though running herself. The barrier between he individual sound of each letter and the whole meaning of the word was removed and the printed word meant a thing at one quick glance. She read a few pages rapidly and almost became ill with excitement. She wanted to shout it out. She could read! She could read!

From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came to adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Reading Progress

09/06/2011 page 81
09/06/2011 page 81
16.0% ""Yes, when I get big and have my own home, no plush chairs and lace curtains for me. And no rubber plants. I'll have a desk like this in my parlor and white walls and a clean green blotter every Saturday night and a row of shining yellow pencils always sharpened for writing and a golden-brown bowl with a flower or some leaves or berries always in it and books... books... books..." pg. 23"
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