What I’m Reading: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

There are a few books that I can recommend hands down as my favorite books of all times.  Gone with the Wind is one of them…A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  is another of them.

I first read this book years ago.  I was teen and loving English classes.  In the back of my mind I wanted to go to college to be an English teacher.  I picked up the list of “recommended summer reading” and started in on the list.  There were awesome books there…  To Kill a Mockingbird-Grapes of Wrath-Of Mice and Men…great classics.  But this book was my favorite…my very favorite.


I don’t know what the author does to make me love little Francie Nolan…but love her I do.  I think it’s probably her ability to work for her family yet fight towards her dreams.  I am just not sure.

This time around I listened to the audio book version..still wonderful.

Have you read this book?  It is so good.  Here’s what Amazon has to say about it, “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 favored child. Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. She is her father’s child–romantic and hungry for beauty. But she is her mother’s child, too–deeply practical and in constant need of truth. Like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, resourceful Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive. Betty Smith’s poignant, honest novel created a big stir when it was first published over 50 years ago. Her frank writing about life’s squalor was alarming to some of the more genteel society, but the book’s humor and pathos ensured its place in the realm of classics–and in the hearts of readers, young and old.”

This book has me thinking I might go back and read (or listen too) some other old classics.  It also  has me hoping I can find a way to listen to the movie that was made from the book.  All in all this book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  by Betty Smith, is right up in the top of five of my favorite books ever.

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6 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  1. Linda L

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn has been my all time favorite book. I have read it many times, also starting when I was a teen.

  2. Barb bachmann

    I bought this book at a Goodwill store 50 years ago. (I was just a wee child of 11) I have kept it and have read it several times, one of my alltime favorites.

  3. Carolyn

    I just requested it from the library, it sounds familiar, but I’ll re reread it. I only have about 10 book sout from the library right now. Maybe I should start listening to them on tape.

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