I just finished listening to this--I had such fond memories of it from high school. I loved it all over again. Sweet, deceptively simple writing makes for a profound story about coming of age. The protagonist, Francie, grows up in poverty but is smart, ambitious, observant, and good at finding her way in the world. She is as strong and stubborn as the tree growing behind her apartment building. The characters are very well written and the reader learns so much about life in New York just prior to World War II. Wonderful!