Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Trees Still Grow in Brooklyn

Cora's mother has struggled to keep a roof over Cora and her sister Adare's head ever since the death of their father six years ago. This can be a challenge in New York City, even though the mother has given up her artwork and is working in a store. Cora does fairly well in school, although has been moved around so much that she struggles to make friends. Adare had a lack of oxygen at birth and has a host of unspecified challenges, mainly characterized by not focusing on the present, and occasionally holding her breath. When their last shelter is broken into, the family moves in with Willa, who is from the same town in Texas as their mother, but doesn't exactly approve of her choices. Cora finds the nice apartment, and taking the subway, to be interesting, and she is open to making some friends. Sabina is friendly, and lived near the shelter, so she seems safe. It turns out that her family is also a little unusual, and they live in a boat on the canal. Cora is very interested in trees, since her father worked in the parks and left her a notebook of his sketches and information about trees. When she finds the particular "tree of heaven" that he was studying, she wants to climb it to feel closer to him. Things with Adare get out of hand, however, and when she goes missing, Cora must come to terms with her past and present and find a way forward.

Good Points
The author MUST be drawing comparisons with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, with the poverty and instability, the beloved father, and the "tree of heaven". There need to be more books about students who are not comfortably middle class, so that readers can either see themselves or understand others a bit more. Cora's experiences are realistically and sympathetically done, and the book is short and moves quickly, which is never a bad thing in a middle grade novel!

We also need to see more characters that struggle with developmental and mental health challenges. While it seemed odd that Adare, at age ten, would not have been identified with a particular condition, even with the family's instability, it is good to see such a character portrayed.

Readers who like sad stories about children facing struggles, like Benjamin's The Thing About Jellyfish, Entrada Kelly's The Land of the Forgotten Girls or Yang's Front Desk will find that Cora's troubles make their own concerns seem less terrible!
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Haunted
Clean slate. That's what Hendricks Becker-O'Malley's parents said when they...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Art of Losing
On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Beyond a Darkened Shore
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
OverRun (The OverRuled Series, book 2)
TWO LIVES BOUND BY ONE LIE. Magic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Step-Spinsters
Once upon a time, in a land far, far...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Glamour of Midnight
Fae bounty hunter Loftin’s life depends on him finding...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just For Clicks
Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
i am Elephant, i am Butterfly
When sixteen-year-old Simone Wheeler is accepted into the elite Camp...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mike
MEET FLOYD. He's a tennis star. Possibly good enough to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unconventional Warfare (Special Forces, Book 1)
Discover the secret missions behind America's greatest conflicts.Danny Manion has...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Again, But Better
Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Summer of '69
With his girlfriend, Robin, away in Canada,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stick Cat: Two Cats and a Baby (#4)
Now that their owners are married, Stick Cat and his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Waking Nightmare (Hello Neighbor #2)
It's been four months since Nicky Roth has seen his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Once and Future Geek (The Camelot Code #1)
When young Arthur of Camelot accidentally time-travels to the 21st...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Science: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World
 
4.7
"Insightful, engaging, and downright fun! LEGO hits on all the learning styles in this brilliantly interactive science primer. ..."
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
 
4.7
"“Women and girls have been sharing things up for a long time, resisting those who would box them in.” ..."
Growing Friendships: A Kids' Guide to Making and Keeping Friends
 
4.0
"Utilizing plain language and a kid-friendly presentation, Growing Friendships examines and addresses a wide range of socially detrimental issues such..."
My Weird School Fast Facts: Space, Humans, and Farts
 
5.0
"MY WEIRD SCHOOL FAST FACTS: SPACE, HUMANS, AND FARTS makes learning more interesting and fun. Using the weird-but-true theme is..."
The Ultimate Guide to Gardening (Craft It Yourself)
 
5.0
"Don’t let the name intimidate you—this guide is as extensive as it is accessible. The book features 111 pleasingly..."
A Kid's Guide To America's First Ladies
 
4.3
"How does a First Lady train for a job that has no job description—or even a salary? A job that..."
 
4.5
"An eye-catching activity book that teaches the nuances of font topography—for the young aspiring graphic artist in your home. ..."
Heroes For My Daughter
 
3.7
"3.5 Stars A compelling concept with a lot of heart behind it. The book presents as a sort..."
Heroes for My Son
 
3.3
"True-to-life heroes--real people who've accomplished attainable yet noteworthy things. This book holds a timeless and intriguing premise. (Particularly in a..."
About Marine Mammals: A guide for Children
 
4.7
"About Marine Mammals is a beautifully illustrated and educational book, perfect for school libraries. Or if you have a curious..."
Oceans (About Habitats)
 
4.3
"About Habitats is such a beautifully illustrated and interesting book. If you have a curious child who enjoys learning about..."
100 Things to Know Before  You Grow Up
 
4.7
"100 Things to Know Before You Grow Up is yet another reason why I, as well as the children I..."
Factastic: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World (LEGO Nonfiction)
 
4.0
"An entertaining encyclopedic primer, ideal for knowledge-thirsty LEGO fans. Coming in at 175 pages, FACTASTIC is a sizeable,..."
Scholastic Book of Presidents
 
5.0
"It’s been about a month since the US Presidential Election, and Scholastic’s newest release will help you learn everything you..."
Football Superstars 2016
 
4.0
"FOOTBALL SUPERSTARS 2016 by K.C. Kelley takes an in-depth look at the star players in the NFL at the end..."
BASEBALL SUPERSTARS 2016
 
4.3
"BASEBALL SUPERSTARS 2016 by K.C. Kelley is exactly what one would expect from the title: a review of the top..."
LEGO POP-UP
 
5.0
"A masterpiece of folded paper engineering, loaded with a wealth of interesting LEGO history and facts. From its..."
 
4.3
"What an enthralling little book this is! Growing up, I didn’t read too much non-fiction because I didn’t have access..."
LEGO Knights & Castles
 
4.0
"LEGO continues its tried and true tactic of combining real world pictures and period art with their cell-shaded cartoon figures,..."
Awesome 8
 
4.5
"Awesome 8 was entertaining and education but not in an obvious way. If you have a reluctant reader, this book..."