Book Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

tree_grows_brooklynThe novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is about a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, New York at the turn of the century. It begins with a child, Francie, born in the tenements. During her childhood she would read her books in the fire escape and look at the tree in the center of the tenement district. The tree only grows in the districts and grows out of cement. On Saturdays she would bring junk in with her little brother, Neeley Nolan, to earn pennies so they can buy candy from Cheap Charlie’s, a penny-worth candy store. Charlie, the owner of the store, had a prize board but no one ever got a real prize, just candy for trying. She dreamed of coming back to the store with fifty cents so she can win all of the prizes on the board.

During her childhood, she went to school and was very good at writing. As she grew up, Francie went through her ups and downs as she overcame every one of them. She worked two jobs to support her family and to receive money. Francie’s first jobs was in an artificial flower-making company where she had to wrap green paper around a piece of wire to create the stem of the flower. Her second job was at a newspaper company where she had to read newspapers and clip article strips and sort them out by state. Finally, she grew up with her family and came out as a beautiful young lady.

I really liked this book because it had me interested with each chapter. It was a bit slow in the beginning but then it became full of character. There was some surprises along the way but they came at very great times during the book. I would recommend this book to people 13 years and up just because some of the events that happen are not for younger kids. If you ever read this book, I hope you will enjoy it.

-Samantha S., 8th grade