Julia Magee's Reviews > A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  Smith
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

it was ok

NOTE: This was required reading for school i did not choose this book.
FTC Disclaimer: I purchased this book.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was written by Betty Smith and was also turned into a movie. This novel tells the story of the Nolan's. The Nolan's are a poor family living in Brooklyn. The story is mainly told through protagonist's Francie's point of view. They are living during the early 1900's in poverty. When the book starts she is 11 years old. By time the book concludes she is 17.

When the book opens Francie and her younger brother, Johnny Nolan are spending there Saturday afternoon collecting paper,metal and other scraps to sell to the junk man to earn a few extra pennies. This shows how poor they are. Not only do the children work for a few extra pennies everybody does Katie (their mom) scrubs floors and does janitorial work to put dinner on the table every night. Katie's husband and the kids father Johnny is an alcoholic who sings and waits on tables at a local bar.

Francie loves reading and writing and one day she hopes to become an author. There is one chapter where her teacher bashes her writing and she decides to give up writing for a while.

Although, I found this book boring it was okay and taught a lesson. This book teaches that money can't buy happiness. The Nolan's definitely weren't rich growing up but always seemed to be happy children growing up.

I would recommend this book to an older more mature audience. I think that they would understand and enjoy this book more than I did. There was very little that I could relate to.
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Reading Progress

July 15, 2012 – Started Reading
July 30, 2012 – Shelved
July 30, 2012 –
page 221
44.83% "chapter 27 was the best so far."
July 31, 2012 –
page 250
50.71% "Francie turns 13 and is living during a war in Europe. She decides to keep a diary. Papa becomes very sick and can no longer work. The Nolans become more poor than they were already."
August 2, 2012 –
page 300
August 9, 2012 –
page 508
100% "whoo! i finally finished this boring summer reading. there were some interesting parts. i will post a review tomorrow!"
August 9, 2012 – Finished Reading

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