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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by Betty Smith

Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seeds fall — in boarded-up lots, between cement cracks, or in rubbish heaps — a lush tree will follow. But only in the tenement slums.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 1912, there are many Trees of Heaven and many more poor people who are struggling to survive.

Francie and her family are among them. Her mama is the hardworking janitor for three tenement buildings. Her father is a singing waiter who works infrequently because of his depression and alcoholism. Francie and her younger brother, Cornelius, pick through garbage in search of scrap metal to sell for pennies so they can help support their family.

Like the tree in her yard, Francie is strong and determined. She escapes her dismal reality through reading and flights of imagination. She knows the only hope she has is through education.

Follow the hardships, sacrifices, and triumphs of this remarkable young girl as she faces life, love, and crushing family tragedy, and rises in a world that would keep her down, in this timeless American classic.

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Interest Level
Grades 7 - 12
Guided Reading
Classics, Realistic Fiction

About the Author

Betty Smith

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