A Tree Grows in Brooklyn A Tree Grows in Brooklyn discussion


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message 1: by Carole (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carole I read this book when I was in my early teens, and I liked it at that time. Our book group read this recently and we all enjoyed it more than we did as young girls. The plight of Francie Nolan as she struggles to improve her life with an alcoholic but kind father and a hard working but harsh mother is compelling.


message 2: by Gayle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gayle Same here--read this in early teens and just bought a used copy. Lovely, compelling book now that i'm in my 40's. As an adult, I read the subleties of the story and relate much more.


message 3: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julie I read this book in college. I absolutely loved it. Tonight I went to my book club and learned that we are reading it for next month. On the way home I was thinking about how much I liked it when I read it before and I was worried that I may not like it as much on the second time around. I am glad to hear that others liked it even more as much the second time around.


message 4: by Jo (last edited Feb 24, 2008 09:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo I chose this book for my club's first-ever meeting which will be held in March. I love this book. It reminds me of many, varied aspects of my childhood. Though we were never quite as poor as Francie's family there were some definite similarities. I also closely relate to her changing patterns of thought. I hope I do not offend anyone, but I have noticed a pattern in the reviews of many books on this site and it saddens me that books should be judged because their subject matter is similar to that of other books. Every book should be judged on it’s own merit and not on how closely it resembles another book. They weren’t written in conjunction and should not be judged so. Imagine if “A Christmas Carol” were judged in that fashion simply because it was about Christmas. No anger and no offense intended, just an observation. :o]


Little I'm intrigued that you think Kate was "harsh." While she wasn’t as warm or charismatic as her husband, I thought that she was loving towards her children. She did her best to protect them, and showed an awful lot of concern about both their physical and emotional wellbeing.


Brigid ✩ i am a teen who just read this book, and i will definitely reread it again someday! :)


message 7: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Little,

I am trying to figure out who you are referring to in the first line of your comment about Kate being "harsh"?


Little Sorry, Jo. Carole posted as the first message of the thread "The plight of Francie Nolan as she struggles to improve her life with an alcoholic but kind father and a hard working but harsh mother is compelling." (emphasis mine)


message 9: by Merle (new)

Merle I reread it a couple years ago and enjoyed it again. She wrote another book, Joy in the Morning. Suprisingly, it was not good at all.


message 10: by Soad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Soad i really loved this book must read for all girls growing up


message 11: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn Love this book.


Rebecca Grubb This book is one of my favourites. It is the perfect coming of age novel. I read it when I was very young and look forward to giving it to my niece and daughter when they get older. And any male spawn I may have. I feel it is a fallacy that books are "gendered".


message 13: by Roz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Roz Carter I was actually thinking about this book yesterday (for no apparent reason) and marveling how it has stuck with me for so many years. I read it as a teen and then revisited it maybe 15 years later. It may be time to visit this wonderful story again.


Kressel Housman Apparently, they've made the book into a musical. Can't you just see Evanna Lynch (who played Luna Lovegood) as Francie?


Robin The books are quite good. Read them ages ago, late teenage years. Evanna Lynch would make a good Francie..


Cherylann I read the book in seventh grade and again first semester of college. I loved it even more the second time. I understood things that went way over my head the first time.


message 17: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn I love the book so much. Movie is good too but book is wonderful.


Robin I think both the book and movie are great in differing ways. I remember reading the book when I was quite young, and seeing the movie later.


message 19: by June (new) - rated it 5 stars

June Odd, I just finished saying I've always thought I would like to read this again - and then I see all these comments. I like the company I'm in.


Susie Spizzirro Movies never quite do credit to the book. The books have always been the best for me although I often enjoy the movies. I have read this book several times & it's always good the next time I read it.


Glinda the Gallifreyan First off-- just a few weeks ag o I finished reading it for the first time, and it, to be put simply, went to the top of my favorites list. It's just beautifully written, in a way that it makes you think long and hard about the roughness of life, and it's a perfect coming of age story that I'm sure I'm going to share with my daughter(s) if I have any, along with 'The Secret Life of Bees.'

Second off-- there's a movie and musical?!? I'm a musical theatre geek... **runs off to musical theatre and movie rental place**


Kressel Housman Glindafied of the West wrote: "Second off-- there's a movie and musical?!? I'm a musical theatre geek... **runs off to musical theatre and movie rental place**"

The musical didn't get good reviews.


Janis Mills Merle wrote: "I reread it a couple years ago and enjoyed it again. She wrote another book, Joy in the Morning. Suprisingly, it was not good at all."

I agree with your comments. "A Tree"... was an excellent book. I read it in junior high. I had someone wonderful guiding my reading when I was young. All those wonderful books were just laying around the house. I never got the chance to thank my father. It was almost as if Joy in the Morning was written by a different person.


Patricia I just read this book a couple of months ago for the first time ever and I can't believe I lived so many years and never had read it, it was wonderful. My daughter bought me the movie for Christmas but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet.


Starburst I loved this book. I am reading it for, like, the third time and get something new out of it every time. It is such a good book.


Robin I saw the movie a long time ago. The father played Shirley Temple's father in one of her films. I tried to read it,but it was kind of depressing.


Glinda the Gallifreyan Kressel wrote: "Glindafied of the West wrote: "Second off-- there's a movie and musical?!? I'm a musical theatre geek... **runs off to musical theatre and movie rental place**"

The musical didn't get good reviews."



Too bad. :( Well, not every musical can make it. Too bad it had to be that one.


Kressel Housman Interestingly, Betty Smith herself worked on the script, but that was in the '50s, so I guess they didn't give writers as much say as they do now. I think it's all because of JKR.

BTW, I wrote a fan letter to Evanna Lynch and suggested the role to her. I wonder if anything will come of it.


Stephanie I'm currently reading this book for the first time (I'm 44) and am really enjoying it. It's one of the best books I've ever read, very lyrical.


Valerie There was so much more to the book then the movie. Although I haven't seen the movie in years I'm going to have to keep an eye out for it. I reread the book about a month or so ago. It's a great coming of age book. I grew up somewhat near where the book was written and my mother is from that generation so the story hits home.


Kressel Housman The trouble with the movie is that the actress was only about 14, so they couldn't end the book with what I consider the triumph: Francie's work in the newspaper and her moving up in the world.


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