Parents' Guide to

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By Molly Coplan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Classic, moving story of girl growing up poor in New York.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 18+

Not appropriate for children

It greatly surprises me that this book could be considered appropriate for young girls. It is full of bad language, sex, bigamy and Instances of witchcraft type charms. For example, one of the main characters is in bed with a married man after having had sex with him. Their is no hint in the book that this is wrong. It is made light of and even worse the immoral aunt is seen as a positive character. She even calls all the men she sleeps with by the same name"John" which shows some type of mental issue. Without a moral code in the book children could think that this type of behavior is ok. The worldview of the book includes the idea that everyone has 'something' - drunkenness or having sex with a different man every night are the examples given -and we should just accept whatever this 'something' is even if it is destructive to the person and others. It is a story about a child but certainly not a book FOR children.
age 12+

Empowering and filled with many of life's lessons.

I wish that I had read it when I was twelve.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (13 ):

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is a called a classic for a reason: It's beautifully written, insightful, and Francie's story is timeless. While the unfolding plot has ups, downs, twists, and turns, Francie's introspective, wise perspective makes this work the honest novel that it is. Readers will rejoice in Francie's highest highs and mourn in her lowest lows. The story also underscores the powerful impact of place on childhood.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate