A Tree Grows In Brooklyn This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I have just finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This was one of the finest books I have ever read. It was sad, full of passion, and engaging.

I think I enjoyed this book so much because the characters seemed so realistic, yet they were not dull. To me what makes the difference between realistic and dull is the level of adventure. In order to make it seem realistic, the characters cannot be too adventuresome, but in order to make the story interesting the characters have to experience enough excitement. I think this book had the perfect amount of description and adventure. The Nolans seemed down-to-earth because they were not perfect. Their lives were far from fulfilled. They were very poor and their father's drinking problem did not help matters any.

This book takes place during the first part of the 20th century. The person I liked most was the protagonist Francie. She was hard-working, bright, clever, and level-headed. She could pull through very hard times. Her father's death, her attack, and her disappointment about high school strengthened her emotionally. I really admire someone like that. If I had been in any of those situations I think I would have fallen apart. Francie always stands up for herself.

I really enjoyed the author's style of using flashbacks. She tells about Katie, her husband, and children then she goes back and tells how Katie and Johnny met. At one point, when Francie is a year old, Katie thinks back to when Francie had just been born. She remembers saying, "This baby will live," and she is right.

I had mixed feelings about the conclusion. I was overjoyed that they would have a better life and more money for the baby. On the other hand I did not like it because it seemed as though all their hard work scrounging and saving money was worth nothing. I would hate to think they end up losing all the old things that used to be so important; the love for Johnny, and their old way of life, when everything was so simple. I think part of the reason I did not like the ending was that I was saddened to be at the end of the book. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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