A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is an American classic because it is beautifully written, evocative and eye opening. Here is a privileged and unobstructed view into the urban life of the poor at the beginning of the XXth cent. Also, we are watching the protagonist, Francie Nolan, come of age—and not just reading her perspective and her insights, but feeling them. It is a dynamic book of hardship and growth; perseverance and strength; change and adaptation. Betty Smith (1896-1972) is the author, and it was published in 1943.