A Tree Grows In Brooklyn Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Francie Nolan spends her young years struggling with poverty, and her father's alcohol abuse. Her mother and grandmother stress the fact that education is the only way to beat poverty and make Francie and her brother Neeley read a page from Shakesphere and from the Bible every night. This novel describes the courtship between Francie's parents Katie Rommely and Johnny Nolan and relates it to their current position. Francie begins school and hates the way she is treated because she is poor. She has her Dad lie and tell the principal that she was moving in order to get her into a better school. Here she strives for good grades and becomes the best writer. A few months before Neeley and Francie's graduation their father dies. Francie is heartbroken and her writing begins to reflect her depression. Her teacher speaks to her about it, but Francie decides not to complete the English work for the reast of the year. She barely passes the class and her mother decided to attend her brother's graduation instead of Francie's.
Click here to see the rest of this review

    Now Francie's little sister Laurie is born and her mother Katie tells the children they cannot afford to keep both Francie and Neeley in school. Katie decides that Neeley must go back to school because he would not go unless forced. Katie tells Francie that she is sure Francie will find a way to go back so she will go to work.
      Francie struggles to find a way to provide for her family and make her dreams of an education come true.
The review of this Book prepared by jessica St. Laurent

Francie Nolan is a young girl yearning for more than the poor life she's stuck with in Brooklyn. Her mother doesn't love her as much as her brother and her father dies at a really young age. With her father gone and her mother pregnant, she's forced to drop out of school and to support her family. Through thick and thin she claws her way through the world searching for her place to stand.
The review of this Book prepared by Ali McKenna

Francie Nolan struggles to grow up in the early part of last century in Brooklyn. She suffers through poverty, hunger, the loss of her beloved but drunken father while learning about life, work, and love from her mother, her aunts and especially her brother Neeley. Francie decides what is important and what kind of person she chooses to be as she grows to be a young woman.
The review of this Book prepared by gardener

This poignant story follows the life of a girl--Francie Nolan as she grows up in Brooklyn. It is a story of simply living and dying, of surviving, of family. It tells of early twentieth-century life in general, and the intricacies of living in Brooklyn. It is about childhood, about growing up, about suffering and managing and sticking together. It ranges from the broader subjects of WWI, immigration, and politics to a family's meals and their struggles with work. All in all, it is a commentary on life in the early 1900s.
The review of this Book prepared by Sarrah

Chapter Analysis of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   struggling to earn a living to survive Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Irish    -   American Northeast Other aspects:    -   story of the poor    -   immigrant story Poverty, surviving    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   general poverty story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?    -   searching for identity/meaning Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   Dada gone Woman's story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)    -   dangerous    -   rude people

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Betty Smith Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian