A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [75th Anniversary Ed] (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

When school started each
year of my childhood, I’d feel a bit anxious to be entering the arena of
real life again after a long summer of lollygagging. The perfect
antidote for my back-to-school malaise was always a great book. The
summer before seventh grade, that book was A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.
Smith’s novel follows Francie Nolan and her unforgettable family, a poor
Irish immigrant clan living in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th
century. I remember being fascinated by the everyday details of
Francie’s life, as well as by her struggle to grow into an educated and
upwardly-mobile American woman at a time when that was still an unusual
goal. A classic coming-of-age novel perfect for daydreamers of any

— Danielle


A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

A special 75th anniversary edition of the beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are raw with honestly and tenderly threaded with family connectedness. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life—from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Smith has created a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as deeply resonant moments of universal experience. Here is an American classic that "cuts right to the heart of life," hails the New York Times. "If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will deny yourself a rich experience."

About the 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.

Praise For…

“Betty Smith was a born storyteller.”
USA Today

“One of the books of the century.”
— New York Public Library

“A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life. . . . If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience.”
New York Times

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn deserves to be thought of as one of the greatest American novels.”
The New Yorker

“One of the most cherished of American novels….It is the Dickensian novel of New York that we didn’t think we had.”
New York Times
Product Details
ISBN: 9780060736262
ISBN-10: 0060736267
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Publication Date: November 6th, 2018
Pages: 528
Language: English
Series: Perennial Classics