Everlasting Nora

Everlasting Nora

Book - 2018
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After the loss of her father and home, twelve-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila's North Cemetery but then her mother disappears, sending Nora on a dangerous quest to find her.
Publisher: New York : Tom Doherty Associates, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765394590
Characteristics: 287 pages ; 29 cm


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Also available on eAudio and as an eBook. A book for kids.

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nsalenga85 Aug 03, 2019

This is a great book aboua 12 year old Nora lives with her mother in Manila's North Cemetery but then her mother disappears, sending Nora on a dangerous quest to find her after the loss of her father & her home.

Dec 29, 2018

Nora lives with her mother in a cemetery in Manila -- in the mausoleum where her father was buried after dying in their apartment fire. She is no longer able to attend school and has been selling everlasting daisy necklaces and helping her mother do laundry for other people to earn enough money to go live with Tito Danny in the country. Then one night her mother does not come home and Nora's world goes even more topsy turvy. You can't help but root for Nora and your heart breaks as she runs into one setback after another. Reading this story reminds us all of the need for compassion and hope and that we are never alone.

I especially appreciated the context clues in the prose for the Philippino terms used in the story as well as the little glossary in the back of the book. This would be an excellent classroom resource for middle grade students. Activities and discussion questions are included in the book for during and after reading.

Dec 05, 2018

Includes Glossary, Author’s Note, and Classroom material.

Twelve year old Nora is clinging to the hope that her and her mother Lorna’s situation will be a temporary one, even as she watches her mother disassemble into a dangerous gambling addiction.

Not that Nora doesn’t find joy and a kind of family in the cemetery. Grieving the loss of her father, and their life before the fire, Nora finds her way forward in believing her situation to be blip. When her escape plans become threatened, in large part by her mother’s disappearance, her perspective begins to shift. She has to rely more heavily on those around her and in doing so, she learns important lessons on what makes up a life.

Nora struggles with humiliations that come with poverty, but the novel never evokes a sensation of pity. Cruz doesn’t flinch from the hardships, but she crafts an immutable human dignity into every one of her characters—minus the villains, because they’ve traded in their humanity somewhere along the way. Respect is invoked in descriptions of settings, in characterizations, and in the internal/external dialogs. Perhaps it’s Cruz’s allowance for complexity.

The situations characters find themselves in are not cut-and-dried; there is a history; there are contexts. Every relationship has a story. This is the kind of narrative Everlasting Nora has to offer; a novel of stories told by the living and the dead, in a cemetery and its city.

Cruz constructs and infuses her novel with details both lived and researched. In the notes at the back, she offers links to research and to organizations helping those living in the real-life North Cemetery in Manila, and similar situation.

OPL_AmyW Aug 11, 2018

After her father dies in a fire that also destroys their home, Nora and her mother are forced to move in a cemetery shantytown. After her mother disappears leaving a string of gambling debts, Nora must find a way to survive as she searches the streets for any sign that her mother is alive. This new, middle grade tale of resilience, set in the Philippines, highlights the importance of family and the ways small acts of compassion can change a person's life. Readers will be intrigued by the unique Philippine culture and Nora's distinct voice which comes through on every page. Recommended for grades 4-6.


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Dec 05, 2018

It had been scary to live here at first, but Mama told me that the living would do us greater harm than the dead ever could.

Dec 05, 2018

If someone were to ask me to describe a home, I would tell them this.
A home never floods during a typhoon.
A home as a kitchen with a stove for cooking rice.
A home does not have dead people inside it.


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