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Nora & Kettle

(Paper Stars #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,558 ratings  ·  317 reviews
"What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?"

Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to — the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children f
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Clean Teen Publishing (first published February 29th 2016)
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Lauren Taylor Book two of the series is coming out soon! It follows the story of Nora and Kettle to its conclusion :D…more
Book two of the series is coming out soon! It follows the story of Nora and Kettle to its conclusion :D
Lauren Taylor Book two of the series is coming out soon! It follows the story of Nora and Kettle to its conclusion :D…more
Book two of the series is coming out soon! It follows the story of Nora and Kettle to its conclusion :D

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  1,558 ratings  ·  317 reviews

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Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
Nora & Kettle is set in 1953, and things aren't going great for either of them. For Kettle, things look as bad as they are, because he is a homeless Japanese-American orphan, who has been making it on his own in a tunnel with a bunch of other kids in his situation. He has a job that he to, quite literally, fight for every day. It isn't easy, but he's getting by. Nora's life, on the outsi
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I don't have words for how much I loved this <3 The story tore my heart to pieces in every way possible, but it was wonderful, just wonderful. Beautiful storytelling, lyrical prose, dynamic characters, all set in a period of U.S history that far too often ignored. An instant favorite. (Plus it's a series!!! I need more!!!!!)

A video review will be up on my channel very soon :D
This was such a wonderful book.
anyway, here, full review (before I found out it was a series!!)

This was both beautifully written and heartbreaking. If you're worried about romance overtaking everything--do NOT be. This is the story of two separate worlds--and before you think some cliche thing where they crash and everything is changed forever, hear me out. Privileged Nora and her younger sister, Frankie, hide behind walls
Willow Hadley
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor is a loosely-based retelling of Peter Pan, and it was amazing.

"What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?"

This takes place in 1953, just a few years after WWII, and Americans are still very prejudiced against the Japanese. Kettle is a Japanese American that grew up in a concentration camp, and now lives as a street kid barely making ends meet, trying to survive and take care of a ban
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A truly wonderful story about a girl from a rich family named Nora and a street kid named Kettle. Their stories are both fraught with danger and tragedy. Each have their own story to be told at first, as they live side by side without realising it. Then their lives cross and they become a strange sad and yet brave team. Despite their own problems they aim to help others.
A great read with an ending that leaves you wanting more.
4.5/5 Stars


So I accidently stumbled across this book when it was advertised in my possible books to read email. (not it's actual name btw)

I liked the blurb of it and thought why not!
Best choice ever!

It's wonderfully unique, with an incredibly sad yet uplifting storyline and characters that are so full of emotion brewing underneath them that I ended up loving them very dearly and desperately wanting to know more, particularly with that ending!

Nicole M. Hewitt
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This is not my normal type of read, but I have to tell you that I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to read it. I have to confess that it was the Peter Pan reference that first got my attention. The book has some very loose ties to the Peter Pan story, but I hadn’t reread the blurb before reading the book and hadn’t noticed any but the incredibly obvious ones – this is not a retelling (though now that I’m thin
Ellen Zacarias
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing

A sketch of Nora and Kettle, by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

If you haven’t read anything by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, you’re in for a real treat: Nora and Kettle is an upcoming novel by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, international bestselling author of The Woodlands. Set in the years after World War II, Nora and Kettle features a story about friendship and love between the daughter of a civil rights lawyer and a mixed-race Japanese-American orphan.

The first few pages of Nora and Kettle whisked me away into the sh
Lynda Dickson
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 14+
Shelves: young-adult
Eighteen-year-old Nora has lived through a life of physical abuse at the hands of her father, a lawyer campaigning for the civil rights of Japanese Americans interned seven years earlier in World War II prison camps. Children who escaped from these camps or became orphans were dubbed the "Lost Children" by the press. Kettle is one of these children. Now seventeen, Kettle lives in the tunnels of the railway station with his "family" of homeless children, the Kings of the Subway. Refusing to resor ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was ok

I was actually quite excited for this Peter Pan retelling, as it seems to be one of the most unique, but it became pretty apparently pretty quickly that this was not going to be something I enjoyed. This is marketed as YA but it is on the VERY young side of YA with incredibly over-the-top things happening to these characters and some pretty fucked up shit happening to them but with very surface level conversations about it. This read exactly like a middle grade to me - with an over the t
One of the more haunting retellings that I have ever encountered, this book gave a whole new outtake on the beloved tale of Peter Pan, grounded it in reality and harsh truths. It's not magical like the original is, but there is a certain lyrical quality to this writing that I inhaled as I read.

I wouldn't say it is a pleasant tale to read, but it's a myriad of light and dark, from the desperation that clouds Kettle's days and the fear that shrouds Nora to the moments of joy and happiness they fee
"Nora & Kettle" is set in the post-war, 1953 New York.

The seventeen year old, Nora Deere, lives in a nice house with her mum, lawyer dad and younger sister, Frankie. But not all is what it seems. Nora's dad is a bully and physically abusive. Following Nora's mother's accidental death, her dad becomes even more abusive. Nobody stands up for Nora. She's all alone.

Kettle is a part Japanese teenager, who lives on streets as he doesn't want to return to the orphanage he left. His best friend, Kin, i
Rebecca (whymermaids)
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the post-WWII 1950s America, stereotypes and prejudices against the Japanese were still prevalent. Kettle is a Japanese American boy, raised in the internment camps, who prefers life on the streets to the brutality of life in a Home. Along with his “brother” Kin, Kettle leads and protects a group of lost boys, known as the Kings, in a more “free” life. Nora, on the other hand, lives a privileged life of luxury and money, at least on the outside. Behind the scenes, Nora is physically abused by ...more
Suze Lavender
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It looks like Nora is from a perfect home. Her father is a well-known civil rights lawyer, there's enough money to spend and she has a sister she adores. Only Nora's father might stand up for those who need him in the outside world, but at home he's a tyrant. Nora is afraid of his beatings and she wants to protect her sister Frankie from more life-threatening abuse. When nothing and nobody can protect her and her sister any longer Nora tries to find a way out of her dire situation.

Kettle is a Ja
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Wow. Just wow.

I don’t know where I got the idea that this was going to be a light-hearted read – perhaps the fact that this is a Peter Pan retelling at heart – but wow, I definitely do not regret picking it up. This book deals with heavy themes and difficult topics in such an amazing way; I read the book within a breath and a heartbeat and even after the final page did the story stay with me.

I can’t deny that the book weighed heavily on my heart from start to finish. Vivid descriptions
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give a dozen stars!

I don't want to give anything away so, I've decided not to describe the story in my review.

I would like to say this....I have read thousands of books. Fantasy, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Romance...the list goes on and on. I usually give the highest reviews I feel are appropriate to my interest and genuine feel
in/of the story. These five stars are not enough.

This vivid world, crusted with dirt and salt and fish air, this world pulled me in so far that I had to
Leah Alvord
This post is going to be different. And it's going to contain a lot of emotional experiences I've been through and a really personal look into my life. If you're not willing to be confronted with those facts, or you at all feel uncomfortable with that idea, please don't hesitate to go read a more upbeat, less emotional review.

Because the truth of it is, this book handled very hard issues in a way that was so realistic that it just about destroyed me.


Nora Deere was raised to be the classi
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it

cute. A nice take on Peter Pan and Wendy. lowkey broke my heart, but in a gentle way.

There were a million times I wanted to hit *someone* but maybe that's why I'm not the heroine of a book. I'm short, fragile, and full of anger. I wouldn't last very long.
ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
So incredibly beautiful and heart breaking. The best Peter pan retelling...ever.
TW: animal abuse/death; Domestic Violence.
Rhea Dsouza
If I were to describe any book I’ve read so far this year as “unforgettable,” I’d say Nora & Kettle absolutely fits the bill and some more.  This book is perfect and tear-jerking and devastating, but hopeful and liberating.

Nora & Kettle is set in 1953, a time when memories of the war, of the destruction at Pearl Harbour, and the hatred towards the Axis powers was fresh in people’s minds.  It was in this time that the incarceration of Japanese-American citizens took place, and in what was perhaps
Sophie L
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If I had wings, they would be black, thin, and feathered. Not a flat color... but iridescent. Shining with hues of purple, green and blue. Catching the light with the barest fingertips. And when I needed, I could fold into the darkest shadows and hide.

My first 5 star book of 2016!!

I requested Nora & Kettle from Netgalley thinking it looked like an interesting read, but I was in no way prepared for how much I would love it.

Within the first 5% of the book I was completely hooked. I found myse
Kelly Roberson
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Video Review:

Going into this book, I was not expecting to love it as much as I did! It is heartbreakingly beautiful, and I couldn't help but love every minute of it. There were many times the book was incredibly difficult to read due to the heavy topics it is dealing with, but I am so impressed with just how well the issues of abuse and racism were handled. I will say there is definitely a trigger warning for abuse. If that is a situation you find hard to
Rachel Patrick
Jul 06, 2015 marked it as to-read
I kid you not, I raised both my hands/arms up in a "shut UP" sort of position after reading the first line of this synopsis and unexpectedly saw Peter Pan and Wendy Darling mentioned.

Give it to me.

Give it to me now.
2017 Gold Medallion IPPY Award winner in the National YA Multicultural Fiction category.

Source: Purchased it at full price, but currently free on Amazon at time of pre-review.
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
This book was so incredibly beautiful and moving and amazing and I really don't know if I can do this book justice. Everything about it was perfect! I am a really, really fast reader but for this book, I had to force myself to slow down and savor it. Every single word was perfection.

I freaking loved the characters. First of all, this book takes place in a time period that isn't often talked about. It is set after the horrible period in American history where Japanese Americans were placed in "in
I think this is less a retelling of Peter Pan, and more inspired by Peter Pan. At least that's how it read to me.

Set a little after WWII in what I'm assuming is America (it's not really specified), focusing on two very different young adults.

Nora is a rich, white girl in a very scary, unhappy home, dreaming of running away but staying to protect her little sister.

Kettle is a homeless Japanese boy living in a country that hates him (that whole Pearl Harbour thing I guess), trying to take care of
Jasmine Smith-clark
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a story that dives into the depths of depravity and the purpose of hope in life. Without hope in desolation, there is no life worth living. Nora and Kettle live through things that most of us cannot grasp as reality, but unfortunately this is all too real for some. It is only with the help of one another that they find their true courage and inner strength. This story is incredible and I honestly cannot wait to see what comes next. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it even made me ang ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It left me speechless. I tried to flip the last page over a number of times hoping that magically more chapters would appear. It should be said that if you have experienced domestic violence or are sensitive to that subject matter this may not be the book for you due to Laurens ability to write and build characters that will literally walk off the pages and into your heart. I shed many a tear over nora and kettle for both their torments and triumphs. I anxiously await it's sequel where my journe ...more
Lucija The Reader
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing it opened my eyes a bit more and the characters are so wonderful because no matter how hard their lives are they still manage to have fun and enjoy life. This book is really underhyped and more people should read it!
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Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive

Other books in the series

Paper Stars (3 books)
  • Hiro Loves Kite: Nora and Kettle’s story continues. (A Paper Stars Novel Book 2)
  • Breaker and the Sun (Paper Stars, #3)

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