A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Chapter 2 and 3
Francie loves the library and reads a book a week. She plans to read all the books in the library from A to Z, and at age eleven, is still on the Bs. The library is her freedom and her exploration; she thinks that all the books in the world are in her local branch. She reads the books on the stoop of her house and observes all the people in the neighborhood, including the very flirtatious, young Flossie Gaddis.
As Francie finishes her book, Johnny comes home excited to see her and is curious as to the whereabouts of Katie. He is singing "Molly Malone" as usual while Katie is at a show with her sister, Sissy. Francie adores her father and remembers visiting him at work. He shows off his proud sticker for the Waiters' Union and tells Francie about work and how he is not cut out for it. He is a singing waiter with no regular job. He makes most of his money from tips. Everyone seems to love Johnny, although everyone also knows (as well as Johnny himself) that his wife and children are too good for him.
"Francie knew that mama was a good woman. She knew. And papa said so. Then why did she like her father better than her mother? Why did she? Papa was no good. He said so himself. But she liked papa better." Chapter 1, pg. 33
Johnny tells Francie that if it weren't Katie Rommely, her mother, then it would have been Hildy O'Dair, her good friend, who made Johnny settle down. They got married young and now he has children. He never even wanted a family. He knows he is not a good father. He calls Francie his Prima Donna and gets ready in his white dickey and pearl studs for work. Francie beams with pride.