By Bridget Myers
The novel, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” is about Francie, a girl growing up in a poverty-stricken part of Brooklyn, New York. Francie learns to cope with her family’s lack of funds and thrives in spite of it. She finds this outlet through literature and has the ability to escape her destitute world into the world of a fictional character. Throughout the novel, Francie turns from child to woman and learns the unpleasant hardships of poverty. I followed Francie through the pages of the novel and came to know her as if she was a friend. When the book finally came to a close, I longed to keep Francie in my mind and wished that the novel had not ended. Because of Betty Smith’s ability to capture the reader and draw them into the world of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I give the novel a rating of 10 out of 10. Smith shed light on the simple pleasures in the life of a destitute girl, incorporated meaningful messages about life (the importance of education, finding one’s place in society, and coping with loneliness), and developed fantastic and relatable characters. With all this in mind, the book would appeal to a variety of ages. Teenagers would enjoy it, as it is a coming of age novel and adults would appreciate it for its spectacular literary elements.