The book that shaped me (and book bundle giveaway!)

It's World Book Day and Anjalee at Two Different Worlds had the genius idea of creating a collaboration between four bloggers to celebrate the books that made us fall in love with reading. Each of us will choose one book to write about, and then we've each chosen a book to giveaway as part of a joint bundle. Details of the other bloggers and giveaway are at the bottom of the post. Book bundle giveaway
The book I've chosen to write about is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I've talked about this at length before (read my full, very personal review here), so I won't go into all the ins and outs about the sentimental reasons I love it, but it's definitely the one that stands out when I think of my early reading days. I read it a lot as a teenager and, when I look back, I feel like it's made a real impact on my life, so I'd like to share a little more about it today.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn doesn't have a plot as such. Instead, it follows the life of Francie Nolan- a poor girl living in Brooklyn during the early 20th century. When the book opens, Francie is 11 years old and the book takes us on a journey through her adolescence, finishing when she is 16 and starting a completely different chapter of her life. Even though it's set in the 1910s, and was published in 1943, everything that Francie experiences is relevant today- she tries her best at school, goes through the pitfalls of teenage friendships, suffers the confusion of early relationships, and through it all, there are the problems of poverty and family issues. Yet, despite all the difficulties, Francie remains optimistic and hopeful. Her life may be difficult, but she has the support of her family, the sunshine of New York and, always, the joy of reading.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn review
This is why A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is such a great choice for World Book Day. Francie loves to read. Like an older, 20th century Matilda, she is feisty, independent and wants to learn everything she can. Because of this attitude, she has a unique outlook on the world and there is many a wise word contained between these pages. In fact, I commissioned a poster to hang up in my office with a quote from the book: It lived! And nothing could destroy it! Throughout all the hardships and difficulties that may happen in your life, nothing can destroy your determination and your spirit. It reminds me to keep fighting and stay strong, no matter how hard it may seem. 

Throughout my difficult teenage years, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was firmly planted beside my bed so I could dip into it at any time. Even today, if I'm feeling scared or confused, I find a nice little passage and read it for inspiration. It's the closest thing I have to a Bible! It's a very special book to me, and I can't think of anything I've read that has had a bigger impact on my life.


Fancy reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn yourself? Well, you're in luck! As part of our bundle, you can win you're own copy, as well as Caraval, My Lady Jane, The Sun is Also a Star, and The Next Together. That's a whole lot of books! Just follow the instructions below to be in with a shot. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the posts on these blogs too to find out what books Anjalee, Celeste and Vicki have chosen: Two Different Worlds, Pretty Geekery and Neverland Vicki.

Terms and Conditions: Prize is for one bundle of books containing A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and The Next Together by Lauren James. Giveaway is open internationally. Entrants must follow all giveaway hosts on their desired platform for the entry to be valid. Entrants under the age of 16 must ask parental permission to enter as we will need their address to send the prize. We will pick one winner at random. Giveaway runs from 2nd March 2017- 16th March 2017 at 11:59pm. Good luck!

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  1. Just read this and your original review and my goodness - you have such a way with words.
    Seriously, if you wrote a book I'd definitely buy it.

    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn sounds like such a unique read and I can already tell that I'd love Francie. It's funny how the official YA genre has only been around a few years but books like this were already paving the way, decades beforehand.

    If you haven't already, you should definitely read Persepolis. It doesn't have a plot as such, either and Marji (the main character) also experiences war and other hardships. A real compelling read.

    Thanks so much for doing this collab with me! xx


    1. This is such a lovely comment Anjalee <3
      Thank you for inviting me to take part! xx

  2. This book sounds like something I'd love to read!

    Isobel x

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  3. I have never read A tree grows in Brooklyn but I just added it to my wishlist because it sounds beautiful :)!
    You also inspired me to get a copy for my little sister!


  4. This sounds like a great book, one of those 'coming of age' books - even though I hate that saying! X

    Everything But The Kitchen

  5. I think the series I can mostly credit with making me love reading (although even from a young age you could never get me out of the books section) was probably Animal Ark. I loved that they were about animals and even at a young age I realised the characters defied stereotypes. A confident, tomboyish girl and her best friend, a more nervous boy. I had a boy best friend for a while and I liked seeing that sort of friendship in a book. :)

  6. the book thief by markus zusak!


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