Study Guide

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Chapter 21

By Betty Smith

Chapter 21

  • Even though school sucks big time for Francie, she still likes going because she likes the comforting feeling of routine that she doesn’t get at home. In addition to the routine, there are a couple other highlights about school.
  • For a half-hour each week Mr. Morton comes to teach music. This guy rocks—he is chronically happy, and honestly loves children and his job. Even the nasty old teachers are happy to see Mr. Morton, and he makes learning fun so the kids love him. He is the highlight of school for Francie.
  • Francie also loves Miss Bernstone, the drawing teacher, who comes to school once a week. She wears beautiful dresses, and she is very sweet to the unwashed children. The nasty old teachers do not like her at all, but we know they’re just haters. Sometimes Miss Bernstone sketches one of the poorest kids in class, and her portrait brings out the innocence and beauty of the child.