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Learning Tree Mass Market Paperback – June 12, 1987


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (June 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449215040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449215043
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"A fine novel."
THE BOSTON HERALD
Photographer, writer, and composer, Gordon Parks has written a moving, true-to-life novel of growing up as a black man in this country in this century. Hailed by critics and readers alike, THE LEARNING TREE tells the extraordinary journey of a family as they struggle to understand the world around them and leave their mark a world that is better for their having been in it.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Danton M. on March 3, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read "The Learning Tree" in a college Literature for Adolescents class twenty years ago and recently reread it for a book discussion group. And I still love this novel. I regret that because of the language, which is certainly appropriate to its subject, I cannot teach it in my conservative school district. However, I can and have highly recommended it to my junior high students, with the language caveat. (On an aside, this book just shows how out of touch many college profs are with what literature we can actually teach in the public schools!)

As for the book itself, it tells a wonderfully interesting and entertaining story, full of the joy of long summer days with friends, the horror of murder, the fear of racial conflict, the blush of first love--and betrayal, and the hard road to growing from a boy into a man. For me, it suffers nothing in comparison to "Black Boy" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Instead, it complements those novels as a vivid portrayal of growing up in America.

Read it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Customer on June 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a great read. The "picture taking man," as Parks was often called, crafted a finely layered novel about coming of age in the years prior to integration and the civil rights movement. The book is sad, funny, and painfully true. It is a must for anyone who wants to understand the extent to which racism dehumanizes and destroys; and for anyone who wants to understand the meaning of courage and the unbreakable will of the human spirit.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Armen Mnazakanyan on May 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks shows the difficult life a black boy named Newton Winger goes through. At a young age, Newton learns how to deal with racism and prejudice, the attitude of cruelty against and individual. Growing up during the segregation period, Newt faces a lot of challenges a boy our age would not experience. Parks' attitude toward being prejudice about individuals keeps the reader to feel the anger by seeing the injustice done to his characters. He also shows that it is hard to change a point of view of an individual. During solitary confinement, a lot of misunderstandings happen and Gordon Parks shows how his characters deal with situation dealing with social issues and religion. Parks also wants the reader to understand that we live in a good world now and that everything is in peace, there are no such worries about life. Newt does a lot of activities that young teenager his age would do such as fight, argue, and on top of that go to school- which he succeeds in. By reading this book, one can understand the cruelty and injustice done to the characters and one can realize how precious life is today and we should be thankful to everyone. The Learning Tree is an outstanding book to read because it can make one think about life in the early 20th century and the 21st century today.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Donna Algarin (famalgarin@att.net) on November 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of young Newt Winger who was a black youth growing up in the 1920's. Newt had to go through more things in his teen years than most people experience all their lives. He was witness to so many of his friends and aquaintances dying very violent deaths; some at the hands of white people. He was told by his teacher at the white high school that he would never amount to anything other than a bus boy or a porter because he was black. However, Newt and his mother Sarah had much bigger dreams of college and they were determined that he would make it. I loved this story. It was so good that I could hardly put the book down for a moment without racing back to read it. I only wish that their was a sequel so that I could see how Newt's life turned out when he went to the big city to live after his mother's death. This book definately gets a 5 star rating from me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the book "The Learning Tree" Mr. Parks points out some very powerful issues that we still are at contraversy about today. He writes about interracial dating as well marriage. Also teen pregnancy as well as teen sex. That right there alone disturbs in my opinion a lot of people when they even hear about it. But I think that's good that he's expressing issues people can relate to. Then and now, because in some cases the color of your is looked upon before anything else. Gordon Parks is a very well known author in my family. I have a great respect for his writing, mainly because he sees eye to eye with the truth of the matter at hand in his wri
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eva Kwon on February 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Learning Tree" is an inspiring tale and allows good insight on how life was in Kansas in the 1920 and 30s. Later in the story, the plot gives too much resemblance to "Kill a mockingbird" for my taste but, yes, overall the book is very good.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a beautiful coming of age book, about being a child, about developing feelings of sexuality, about romance and disappointment. I related so much to Gordon Parks and his experience. This is an essential treatise of the American experience.
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By ShaWashanah on December 6, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I had no idea how great of an author Gordon Parks was until I read this book. This read will not disappoint. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.
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