Sunday, October 4, 2009

If you liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

It’s a classic. You’ve probably read it over and over and when someone mentions Francie, you smile.

But are there other books similar to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? While there are an abundance of books that appeal to the readers who enjoyed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, is there anything like it?

I could only think of three. And, these are three that I’ve had help with. My Mom, Grandma and friends have all agreed that if you liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, there’s a good chance you’ll like the following books:

Maggie – Now by Betty Smith
The story of Maggie -Now’s life as she becomes a mother to her baby brother, a housekeeper to her father and a faithful wife to a man who leaves her restlessly each spring and returns to her each fall.
(this title is out of print - a copy is available at Dalhousie University, which you may borrow through our Interlibrary Loan service or via the new Borrow Anywhere Return Anywhere service (BARA))

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O-Neill
"...A story of a young life on the streets - and the strength, wits, and luck necessary for survival. At thirteen, Baby vacillates between childhood comforts and adult temptation: still young enough to drag her dolls around in a vinyl suitcase yet old enough to know more than she should about urban cruelties. Motherless, she lives with her father Jules, who takes better care of his heroin habit than he does of his daughter. Baby's gift is a genius for spinning stories and for cherishing the small crumbs of happiness that fall into her lap. But her blossoming beauty has captured the attention of a charismatic and dangerous local pimp who runs an army of sad, slavishly devoted girls - a volatile situation even the normally oblivious Jules cannot ignore. And when an escape disguised as betrayal threatens to crush Baby's spirit, she will ultimately realize the power of salvation rests in her hands alone." --Back cover.

A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
In this classic story of a pioneer woman, Bess Streeter Aldrich modeled protagonist Abbie Deal on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest. In A Lantern in Her Hand, Abbie accompanies her family to the soon-to-be-state of Nebraska. There, in 1865, she marries and settles into her own sod house. The novel describes Abbie's years of child-raising, of making a frontier home able to withstand every adversity. A Disciplined writer knowledgeable about true stories of pioneer days in Nebraska, Bess Streeter Aldrich conveys the strength of everyday things, the surprise of familiar faces, and the look of the unspoiled landscape during different seasons. Refusing to be broken by hard experience, Abbie sets a joyful example for her family-and for her readers. – Back cover.

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