A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Francie is just a girl growing up in Brooklyn like so many others. It’s the early 20th century and almost everyone she knows are poor immigrants or first-generation Americans. Life isn’t easy, but in Francie’s eyes it’s wondrous. From the time she was born, her mother followed two pieces of advice she got from her own mother. One is to save money, so Francie and her brother Neeley always put half their money into their can bank when they turn in junk at the local store. The other thing, and the most important thing in the world to Francie, is to get a good education. For as long as she can remember, they have read one page from the Bible and one page from Shakespeare every day. That’s not enough for Francie, who longs to go to school and soon starts reading a book every day. But life is not easy, and so many obstacles stand in her way.
This quiet classic, part of the PBS Great American Read, introduces readers to what life was like in Brooklyn at the turn of the century. The characters and descriptions are vivid and compelling. While it doesn’t seem like much happens, it is a fascinating read. Recommended for high school and up.
Would you like to see your book review featured here? Fill out the Review Form for your chance to have your review published.