A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
(P.S.)

81%

27 Critic Reviews

This is a repeat for a novel we reported last March (see P. 125). We liked it then; we like it still. Literary Guild choice for September, it should go farther than the usual first novel.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
 

About Betty Smith

See more books from this Author
Betty Smith (1896–1972) was a native of Brooklyn, New York. Her novels A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Tomorrow Will Be Better, Joy in the Morning, and Maggie-Now continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers worldwide.
 
Published January 1, 1989 by Reader's Digest Association. 414 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Self Help, Travel. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
1
Have Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
All: 27 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 18 2016

This is a repeat for a novel we reported last March (see P. 125). We liked it then; we like it still. Literary Guild choice for September, it should go farther than the usual first novel.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.) | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Lois Lowry on Oct 01 2012

It was part of life — not of my buttoned-up life, but of the noisy immigrant life made real in the pages of Betty Smith's novel — and it was sometimes a part that caused heartbreak or chaos.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.) | See more reviews from NPR

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Lafferty on Jul 20 2012

The readers can effortlessly lose themselves in the pages of this book; which explores complex family relationships, history, class distinction, and the pursuit of seemingly far-fetched dreams.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Anne Greenawalt on Jul 28 2010

Still today, 67 years later, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a widely read and respected piece of literature, frequently compared to other great American classics such as Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Book Reporter

Good
on Jan 23 2011

I suggest this book for readers of all ages. Anyone who loves a good story will undoubtedly come to adore this novel as much as I do.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Daily Kos

Excellent
Reviewed by Diana in NoVa on Jan 06 2012

It was and is a great read. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to be swept away to a different place and time, to live for a while in a world of characters that seem so real they might be living next door.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Bookin With Sunny.

Good
Reviewed by Sunny Solomon on May 26 2010

Today’s reader can see Francie as an early, but unde­clared fem­inist. As dif­ferent as the German and Irish back­grounds of her parents were, they blended as one in their acknowl­edgement that edu­cation was the one thing that could lift one to a better and more secure level of existence.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

The Kitchn

Good
Reviewed by NINA CALLAWAY on Mar 06 2008

Thanks to author Betty Smith's vividly descriptive prose, this coming-of-age story is the kind of book you curl up with and dive in, head first.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by KarinaDavidyuk on Aug 27 2014

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, has many themes, messages, and solutions to problems...This book has a great impact on many kids around the world who have experienced poverty, and believed in the American Dream.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by snowybutterfly on Aug 26 2014

Although A Tree Grows in Brooklyn contains some material unsuitable for younger readers, the unflinchingly honest narrative and Francie's reaction to the events subdue the more mature aspects of the book.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Devourer of Books

Excellent
on Jun 11 2010

If you have reached adulthood without reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, ” please do yourself a favor and read it as soon as possible. I think it might join “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck in the group of books that I reread regularly.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Book Journey

Above average
Reviewed by Sheila on Oct 20 2009

A tree grows in Brooklyn was a pleasant read for a classic. By saying that I mean that some of the classics we have read in the past have just been hard reads – hard to understand and hard to get into. This books writing was smooth and I could follow the story easily.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Rebecca Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Dec 09 2008

While Francie Nolan’s story of personal growth is a memorable one, I felt better organization and framework could have captured it better. Unfortunately, I can’t say I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Confessions of a Book Addict

Excellent
Reviewed by Christina on Sep 13 2011

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn's theme is a powerful one and will always be one of my favorite classics. It teaches us so much about perseverance, love, family, survival, and the American Dream. I display this classic proudly in my classroom library.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

The Book Stop

Good
Reviewed by CURLYGEEK on Jan 29 2013

This is a pretty long book, written at a slow-moving pace, but I didn’t mind that. I found it hard to put down. Francie is such a great heroine — smart, ambitious, tough, caring — I couldn’t wait to see how she turned out.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Iris on Books

Good
on Aug 27 2014

Betty Smith is incredibly respectful and honest in her portrayal of the circumstances and lives of the poor immigrant community in the United States. Besides the coming of age story of Francie, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is also a portrait of the decade between 1910 and 1920.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Take Me Away

Above average
Reviewed by Jenny on Mar 05 2010

Did I love this book? Pretty much. It might be different if it were randomly written today and didn't have the background it does. But nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read it again someday!

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

The Novel World

Good
on Dec 01 2010

This book is really inspirational and full of emotional ups and downs of any family struggling to ends meet.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

It's All About Books

Good
Reviewed by Suey on Nov 21 2011

Something I didn't realize on previous readings is how closely this story mirrors the authors own story. It basically IS her story. It's fascinating to me that this "fiction" is really non fiction and someone lived that life. Bottom line: I LOVED it...

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Estella's Revenge

Good
Reviewed by Andi on Dec 11 2013

I could go on gushing about the greatness of this one for a long time, but I'll wrap it up by saying that it carries one of my favorite book titles ever. Symbolically, that is. I won't tell you exactly how it plays in the book, but you won't be disappointed by the analogy.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

The Oddness of Moving Things Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Geoff W. on Aug 26 2014

I’m trying to decide if I want to keep a copy on my permanent shelf or if I should just donate it/resell it. It was really good but there were parts that seemed to drag. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

At Home With Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Alyce on Nov 03 2008

I can’t say enough good things about this book. This little mini-review doesn’t do it justice. The writing is beautiful, there is so much detail about the culture of Brooklyn in the early 1900s, and it is never boring or dreary.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

So Many Books, So Little Time

Good
Reviewed by DeniseF on Nov 15 2011

This is another book that I can not believe I have put off reading for so long. Talk about a great book. The story itself is sad and depressing but at the same time it is really hopeful.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

http://www.aartichapati.com

Good
Reviewed by Aarti on Aug 07 2011

It's a beautiful story with excellent characters, and it pulled me in completely. I loved this book, I loved Francie, and I loved the beginning, middle and ending. Highly recommended.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Mental Foodie

Above average
Reviewed by Christa on Feb 13 2011

Since I prefer plot-driver over character-driven novels, I wish more happened in this book. While the characters were well developed, and you get a sense of life back then, I just wish there was a bit more action and suspense to make it more engaging.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

http://beckybentrim.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Becky on Mar 26 2013

...I would highly recommend this book to almost anyone. I think it is an especially good book for young girls who enjoy reading, but I enjoy it as much as an adult as I did when I was a kid.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Cold Read Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Suzanne on Nov 06 2011

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is simply a beautiful and sad and amazing story that proves to be timeless. It is a classic that everyone should read.

Read Full Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

Reader Rating for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
91%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2463 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Lauren Hortum

Lauren Hortum 7 Apr 2015

Has read the book

×