When I went home a little while back, I saw a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in my little sister's room. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I went home and started reading the battered copy on my bookshelf. I don't know how many times I have read this book (almost as many as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird), but I always come away feeling like I have just read it for the first time.
Betty Smith published A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 1943 and it was an immediate success. The story focuses around Francie Nolan, a young girl growing up in the early twentieth century with a fun-loving, but alcoholic father, realistic mother, and younger brother. Struggling against poverty and isolation from her peers, Francie finds solace in the library where she plans to read every book in the collection. The story continues over the next five years of Francie's life. Her struggle to gain her mother's love, her desire to better her own life, and finding love are all issues that Francie encounters growing up in Brooklyn.
I don't want to give away too much of the story for those of you that haven't read it because A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a book that I believe everyone should read at least once. Francie and her family have struggles that many people can relate to, and you can't help but wish to be the friend Francie so desperately needed. If you are wandering around the library one day searching for something to read, remember to grab a copy of this book.