I've been sort of toying around with making my reading goals next year include more classic books. I read a lot of them in high school and college but the few I've gone back to read again meant a lot more to me now as an adult than they did when I was a student. Reading them for pleasure is so different than reading to complete an assignment or to write a paper. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is definitely one of the ones that I know I read as a student but I don't remember any of it. A few parts seemed familiar but I didn't remember the gist of the story or a lot of key things that happened. I'm assuming I probably read it fast since its not a huge book and probably breezed through the rest of the assignment. I really wish I could get a do over on some of my schooling and put a little more effort into it!
So, on to the book. It started out really slowly for me and I was a bit worried it would take forever to finish but it did pick up. I was reading this on the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad so I was paying attention to the percentage of completion and it dragged on until I got to 48% done. I wouldn't say it was a page turner, a lot of classics wouldn't be categorized as page turners, but it did get a lot more enjoyable once I hit about the half way point. I've never been to New York but a lot of what was described in the book could be any older city in the Northeast. Francie, the main character, is about the same age as my grandmothers and I thought a lot about how their lives must have been back then. I don't think my dad's mother was either poor or rich but my other grandmother grew up as part of a large family over in Ireland before they moved to Boston so I thought a lot about how her life must have been. Francie's family was extremely poor and a lot of their choices in life were due to the fact that they didn't have money, sometimes not even enough for food and certainly not enough for all to thrive. I'm very thankful we were never that poor but it is interesting to think of how your ancestors might have had similar experiences.
I would recommend this book, especially if you like the Northeast cities set during the early 1900's. I may have my 11 yr old daughter read this sometime this school year. Any opportunity you have to add life lessons here and there are always appreciated!
Available on Amazon, starting at $3.29--what a bargain!
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