Fayette book discussion 5.7

Written by David Green.

Fayette’s Thursday@ 7:00 Book Club readers will learn about Brooklyn, N.Y., a hundred years ago through the story of Francie Nolan in Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

When the book was first published more than 50 years ago, Smith’s frank writing about the squalor of slum life created a stir among many readers. Since then, the book has earned the status as a classic of American literature.

The Nolan family lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 to 1919. Francie, the daughter and main character of the story, is described as “an avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature.”

She’s less favored than her brother, forced to leave school early, treated poorly by people and by fate, yet she trudges forward in a courageous manner to exist in the hardships among New York City’s poor.

Like the tree of heaven that flourishes in the city—taking root in the cracks of  concrete or emerging from cellar gratings—Francie struggles against the odds to survive.

The book will be discussed at 7 p.m. May 22 at the library. Extra copies are available at the circulation desk.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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