A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith

fiction classics young adult
emotional reflective slow-paced

496 pages | first published 1943

The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

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emotional 83%
reflective 72%
hopeful 69%
inspiring 40%
sad 32%
challenging 10%
funny 9%
lighthearted 9%
adventurous 7%
informative 5%
relaxing 5%
dark 3%


medium 52%
slow 45%
fast 1%

Strong character development?

Yes: 96% | It's complicated: 1% | No: 1%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 88% | It's complicated: 7% | N/A: 1% | No: 1%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 64% | It's complicated: 18% | Yes: 18%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 70% | No: 17% | It's complicated: 6% | N/A: 6%

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