Monday, May 30, 2011

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

"Dear God," she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me hungry...have too much to eat. Let me ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost'" A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Chapter 48.

I finished this book yesterday and had to let it settle before I wrote about it. I had to think long and hard before summarizing this book because it's not really about anything but at the same time about so much. The quote posted above from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn I felt sums up the entire novel. Francie Nolan, an 11 year old girl at the beginning of the novel, is a child growing up in pre WWI America. Her family is poor and struggle everyday to live. Francie, while she understands here family's poverty, doesn't let her situation hold her back. Her education is important and she learns new things about people and the world everyday. Francie's journey into adulthood is documented throughout Smith's novel.

I can not say enough about this book. I loved it so much and am sad that this is the first time that I have read this book, I know it will be one I will pick up many times in the future. Throughout the novel, I found myself traveling back to my own childhood and comparing it to Francie's. Francie also reminded me how important the written word is and what it is to be a passionate and well balanced person. It is no wonder why many before me have read and loved this book and I recommend it to all who are looking for a new perspective on life. While I have so much to say about this novel, I feel that I don't have the words to express what this book now means to me. All I can say is that everyone should read this book. For those who have, I would love to hear what your thoughts on the novel were.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:


  1. What a lovely place you've got here. Very soothing to the eyes. :-)

  2. This is one of my top three favorite books of all time. I, like you, do not even have the words to describe what this book means to me. Only that it touched me more than almost any other book ever has, planted itself in my veins and still sits there today, and still comes to the forefront of my mind on a regular basis. I have recommended this book to girls of any age and anyone who loves a girl of any age. I'm so glad you read this!

  3. I just reviewed this a few days ago too on my second blog :)
    Maybe it is the Spring season that makes us think of this type of book.. a tree growing tall and reaching its branches to the sun, and a young girl growing and reaching for her dreams. It is one of my favorite books from my teen years. I also recommend this highly, especially to young women of today who have not read it before. Thanks for a great review! Rae

  4. This was my first time reading this novel and it has definitely impacted me. It is such one amazing story of coming of age. I can't wait to recommend this to my future students. It goes very well with my philosophy of everyone has their own beautiful story, no matter how poor or well off you are. Thanks for stopping by and reading my review!

  5. I've never read this, but I absolutely need to now :) I LOVE your imaginative and darling blog! Sooo fun ;)

  6. I chose your blog for an award. Check it out here:

  7. That quote gave me goosebumps "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life." I LOVE that!

    I haven't read it, but I think I should. Great review...I can totally see why you had to digest it first. When a book makes you think, you know it's goooood!

    Found you on Vampyre Gurls Book Club. I'm so glad I did.

    Stacey @

  8. I love your web site..very serene. I found you on Vampyre Gurls Book Club, I am following you now. Here is my latest blog


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