A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Large Print / Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Cover Image

Staff Reviews

This novel is one of the hidden gems you'll find nestled in our Classics section, waiting patiently for the right reader. It tells the story of little Francie Nolan’s struggle to survive when the odds are stacked against her, and because it’s one of the best coming-of-age books I’ve ever read, I decided it deserved some time in the spotlight. Why, you ask? The original 1943 New York Times review sums it up better than I ever could: “If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will deny yourself a rich experience, many hours of delightful entertainment (for it is long) and the pleasant tingle that comes from a sense of discovery, the discovery of a fresh, original and finished talent … a profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life.” Don’t miss it! 

— Megan


The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg 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, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. 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 of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Betty Smith has artfully caught this sense of exciting life in a novel of childhood, replete with incredibly rich moments of universal experiences--a truly remarkable achievement for any writer.

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: 9780060745943
ISBN-10: 0060745940
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: January 18th, 2005
Pages: 848
Language: English