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Everlasting Nora

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Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shanty town inside the Philippines' North Manila Cemetery.

After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila's North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today.

When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.

With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published October 2, 2018

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About the author

Marie Miranda Cruz

1 book66 followers
Marie Miranda Cruz is a writer of middle-grade and young adult novels, a clinical laboratory specialist, a proud mother of two grown up kids and the wife of a Jedi Knight. She's represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary. Her debut middle-grade novel, EVERLASTING NORA, will be published in 2018 from TOR Starscape.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 213 reviews
Profile Image for Julia Ash.
Author 5 books255 followers
January 12, 2020
This middle-grade novel earned 5 everlasting stars from me!

My “tease” for EVERLASTING NORA…

The dead are more dependable than the living. Twelve-year-old Nora should know; she dwells among them both.

Over a year ago, Nora’s father was killed in an apartment fire that destroyed everything she depended on: family, security, regular meals, and friendships. No longer able to attend public school, Nora lives with her mother, forced to call one of the cemetery mausoleums "home"—the one housing her father’s tomb.

Filled with shame and growing hopelessness over her desperate circumstances, Nora buries her emotions, hoping to become invisible in a city which has left her behind. But when her mother disappears after a night of gambling, Nora has no choice but to venture out into the streets, well beyond the cemetery’s gates where she sells everlasting daisies.

With danger lurking around every corner, fellow squatter Jojo joins Nora in her search for her mother. Will the two survive their quest? Will her mother be found alive? Will Nora ever learn to trust and depend on others again or will she fall deeper into the clutches of despair?


This story was tension-filled and often heart-wrenching. I couldn’t put it down. With every page, I longed for sweet and determined Nora to find her mother and regain hope.

The writing was strong and convincing. I loved how the Philippine culture and language were weaved into the story!

Remember the idiom: Stop and smell the roses? Replace roses with everlasting daisies and you’ve referenced one of the important lessons of this book. The story reminded me to never take the simplest necessities or pleasures for granted, even if faced with the gravest of hardships.

I also think EVERLASTING NORA is a sobering reminder that every child living with and in hardship has a story. Empathy and support, not judgment, can help a child restore hopes and dreams.

EVERLASTING NORA inspires compassion. A must-read, in my opinion, for middle-schoolers and adults!

P.S.: I also love the cover :)
Profile Image for Nancy.
Author 3 books33 followers
March 8, 2018
Wow! This unique and compelling story introduced me to a lot of new things. Set in the Philippines, readers are introduced to young Nora, who lives in a cemetery with her mother. Nora takes on increasingly adult tasks as she tries to make sense of her new life after her father's death. Themes of friends, community, and sharing resources are richly developed.
I loved learning more about the culture, language, and foods of the Philippines. I want/need a Banana-que!!
Profile Image for Edith.
Author 3 books186 followers
March 19, 2018
This is a truly amazing book that I have believed in since its early conception. Marie and I were critique partners when she began writing this book of Nora’s journey. The unique Manila cemetery setting is so rich and alive while you are reading and will remain with you years later. Nora is the kind of middle grade character you can easily root for, and her journey brings to light a much needed story of poverty, struggle & adventure. I can’t recommend this book enough to both kids and adults.
Profile Image for K.A..
Author 5 books252 followers
March 19, 2018
Such a powerful, heartbreaking read. I learned so much from this tender, beautiful book.
Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews510 followers
Want to read
October 13, 2018
an arc for this randomly showed up in my mailbox, but who's complaining? not me.
Profile Image for Mae Respicio.
Author 13 books105 followers
August 1, 2018
I absolutely loved this moving and gorgeous book. It realistically dealt w/tough themes of poverty and homelessness and still offered an uplifting message about family and perseverance. I remember visiting the Philippines as a kid and first learning about the Manila cemetery subculture--how truly and deeply eye opening that was. Understanding how others live around the world is an amazing way to build empathy in young readers, and I'm so glad this book exists.
Profile Image for Brooke — brooklynnnnereads.
1,031 reviews246 followers
October 16, 2018
What a deep, important, and meaningful story!

I never expected that this junior fiction novel would be as emotional and impactful as it was. It was an important read but very emotional in that it's hard to imagine that some children are living in similar circumstances as these. I could not imagine any child facing the issues that Nora deals with and that was truly heartbreaking to imagine (and also realize that this story may not be pure fiction to all).

Due to this depth, I found that this novel truly grounded me, humbled me, and reminded me to be appreciative for some of the things that I may take for granted (whether it be in my personal life or due to geographical privileges).

This story was eye opening and educational. I never had heard of "grave houses" or that people legitimately live in some cemetaries due to poverty. While reading this novel, I could not help but pause to look up this phenomenon and read about the Manila North Cemetery. The whole concept seems unimaginable to me but is reality for some.

The one thing that I must mention is that, I had difficulty reading this novel due to the content. It's serious, graphic, and upsetting content. I'm an adult. This novel is geared towards "middle grade" and is listed for ages 8-12. I don't believe in censorship so I think that this book would be appropriate for some within that age group. However, I don't necessarily know if it would be meant for all. I honestly think this would have been too much for even me at that age and I think I was fairly mature. So, with that being said, be cautious. Some children within that age group would be ready for this novel, some would not.

Overall, this was a very important and meaningful novel. It opened my eyes to a culture I have not learned of before and at the same time, created a beautiful story.

***Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Karlita | Tale Out Loud.
109 reviews79 followers
April 16, 2019
Last August, I welcomed Filipino debut middle-grade author, Marie Miranda Cruz on Behind the Pages for an interview as she talked about her character, Nora ( click here ). Being able to join this blog tour hosted by Kate at The Backwards Bookshelf and read a book with a character that represents me and a setting that’s all well familiar, my Filipino heart couldn’t help but swell with pride.

This book respectfully did justice on the portrayal of those like Nora, a squatter, who lives at Manila North Cemetery. THIS. IS. REAL. LIFE!

Known Filipino values were deeply emphasized into the story like respect, love, hardwork, contentment, generosity and unity in “bayanihan” spirit.

❥ Respect — Nora and Jojo always use words like “po” and “opo” when speaking to their elders. It’s one way to say yes but for us, saying opo is the polite way. Using Kuya, Lola, Aling, and Mang to address someone older than them is also a sign of respect and being courteous.

❥ Love — This was shown all throughout the story. The way how Nora cared for her Mama Lorna and how she never gave up despite all the struggles she had experienced just to find her, was truly touching. This goes the same with Jojo and Lola Mercy. At the end of the day, even they are not family by blood, they learned to stick and look out for each other. The love and care they have is what makes them strong and solid.

❥ Hardwork  — There's been a mentioned about carabao in the story which is the Philippines' national animal. It symbolizes perseverance. Just like Nora and Jojo, who were the two great characters that represent how Filipinos are hardworking, ready to do all kinds of odd jobs just to get by in life—from selling everlasting-daisy garlands to being a labandera (someone who washes others clothes by hand) or selling roasted corns, fetched water and painting tombs every All Soul’s Day.

❥ Contentment — If you read this book, this is one of the distinguishing values that was given great emphasis and will strike you hard, you just want to melt and cry. The way how squatters like Nora seemed content to call the cemetery their home, as long as there’s a roof over their heads or how steamed rice and a single fried fish was a luxury when they don’t even get the chance to eat three meals a day.

One of the lessons every reader can learn from this story is how we should appreciate everything we have when most people have nothing—nothing to eat, no clothes to wear, or no place to sleep or can call their home.

❥ Generosity and Unity  — This is evident from almost all the characters in the story. Jojo who helped Nora to find her mother, Lola Mercy who cooks for her and take care of her mother when she was sick and Mang Rudy who let Nora call her Tito Danny using his cellphone. Even little Ernie was so kind to look after Mama Lorna, Aling Lydia who offers Nora a job at the bakery and Kuya Efren who would write a letter of recommendation for Nora’s application of scholarship.

They are all like A Tree With No Name: Legend of the Mango Tree who in spite being unable to bear fruit and have nothing were the ones who are kind enough to give.

❝She always said it was good to be generous so that generosity would be shown to us in turn.❞

The author also described this within the story by comparing the squatters like ants who protect each other in order to survive. As a community, they were always ready to give a hand when someone needed help. This has been one of the distinct Filipino values that I personally very proud of.

I also love how the author introduced our local language like “Kumusta ka?” (How are you?) and “Salamat!” (Thank you!), to the readers as well as famous Filipino cuisines or desserts like adobo, banana-que, biko, and champorado.

Marie Miranda Cruz' writing is real and tender. She was able to capture and write a character that was so powerful, detailed with every subtle nuance of emotion and human connections. Nora's voice has shown every bit of bravery who never gave up and could still find hope even during the darkest hours. She is a mirror to those who experienced the same thing and a window that make us realize what we have taken for granted.

Everlasting Nora is a story that navigates the life of a young girl who realized that love, friendship and hope are what makes life truly everlasting. May everyone gives this book a chance and as you read this, I hope that you give Nora a special place in your heart just like I did.

I received an eARC of Everlasting Nora as a part of my participation in this blog tour and this in no way influences my rating nor my opinion on this book.

Trigger and Content Warnings: Everlasting Nora deals with violence, child abuse, classism, extreme poverty/hunger, kidnapping, descriptions of blood and other serious injuries.

Full Review at Tale Out Loud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Tale Out Loud
Profile Image for Kate.
408 reviews240 followers
October 9, 2020
“If someone were to ask me to describe a home, I would tell them this. A home never floods during a typhoon. A home has a kitchen with a stove for cooking rice. A home does not have dead people inside it.”

The thing that hit me the hardest about this book’s plot was how absolutely undetachable it was from reality. As a Filipino – especially a Filipino living back here in the Philippines – you become so acutely aware of the fact that there people – millions of them – for whom the story you hold in your hands isn’t just a book. It’s reality. Aside from the remains of over 1 million people, the Manila North Cemetery is also home to over thousands of squatters, who live and work amongst the dead. (You can read this article to learn more.)

Among them is a 12-year-old Nora and her mother, who’ve moved to the Manila North Cemetery after losing both her home and her father in a fire. At first, Nora’s mother has plans to save enough money to get them both out of the cemetery and head back to Davao, where Nora’s uncle owns a pig farm. But unfortunately, Nora’s mother get sucked into the dark, seedy world of gambling, and even ends up losing all her savings to a loan shark. Although she somehow is able to keep Nora in the dark, Nora begins to get an inkling of just how deeply in trouble they are. And her suspicions are confirmed one morning when her mother doesn’t come home.

As Nora struggles to free her mother from the clutches of the loan shark, she gets some help along the way from friends, both old and new, and learns that, though there are a great deal of evil, heartless people in the world, there are just as many who are compassionate and decent, and that all it takes to find these people is a little faith and a little effort.

Over and over again, I keep going back to how this book is not fiction for a great deal of Filipinos. The plot is simple and straightforward when you think about it, but Marie Cruz infuses it with so much feeling and depth that it doesn’t seem so at all. Marie takes the traditional Filipino values of resilience and courage, so lauded in all of our folk tales, mythology, and classic novels, and makes the characters more real, more nuanced, while still being resilient and courageous.

Honestly? 10/10 would watch this as a movie! (But it needs to be handled by a director like Jerrold Tarog or Antoinette Jadaone or Sam Lee or something – anybody else would turn this into a Maalaala Mo Kaya? epsiode faster than you can say, “dear Ate Charo”.)

Read my full review here.

Find more from me:
Blog || Instagram || Twitter || YouTube
Profile Image for RuchReads.
53 reviews
June 15, 2021
Everlasting Nora surprised me! It is such a bittersweet story- of loss, of finding, of learning love and friendships will see you through the worst situations, of being resilient... I wasn't expecting such a range of emotions while I read this book, it shows the 'everlasting' spirit of the young girl Nora, who's innocence, love for her mom and the spirit for life is equivalent to the everlasting daisies, which she threads and sells.
Set in Philippines, the story reveals a little about the lives of "squatters", people who live in cemetery over tombs or mausoleums of loved ones, simply because they have nowhere else to live😔
Nora and her mum are forced to live in the cemetery on her father's grave, when a tragic incident forces them out of life as they knew it.
A bright young girl with dreams of saving enough money soon and going back to school, Nora finds herself forced to grow up suddenly as being the only bread winner in the family of two, and her mom battling debts and gambling addiction.
Amidst the chaos that turns her little world upside-down, Nora discovers friendships, unselfish love and support from her neighbours who may lack in riches, but not compassion and love.
In this heartbreaking story of hardship, love, strength, memories and friendship bring in some sunshine, smiles and warmth ❤️
P.S - I came across some reviews bashing the simple language, but, a gentle reminder that this is middle grade fiction so the language is absolutely apt for the age group targeted, but don't let the tag put you off, it's a fantastic read for adults as well!
Profile Image for Shealea.
447 reviews1,217 followers
October 20, 2020
Revolving around the life of twelve-year-old Nora, Marie Miranda Cruz’s debut novel delves into the growing divide between the middle class and those below the poverty line. After a devastating family tragedy, Nora and her mother are forced to live in Manila’s North Cemetery as informal settlers. Things take a turn for the worse when Nora’s mother mysteriously disappears one day.

Despite its premise, the story in Everlasting Nora is ultimately heartwarming. As Nora searches for her missing parent, she rediscovers compassion, resilience, and optimism within her community.

Cruz proves to be an expert in thoughtfully portraying the lived experiences of the poor and marginalized in the Philippines. Through her protagonist’s innocent eyes, she delivers a moving story that is both incredibly bleak and cautiously hopeful. True to its namesake, the impression that this book leaves is everlasting.

Highly recommended!

* I received a digital ARC of Everlasting Nora as part of my participation in a blog tour organized by Kate. This neither affects my opinion nor my review.

🌻🍃 More bookish content on Shut up, Shealea 🍃🌻
Profile Image for Darla.
3,503 reviews614 followers
September 20, 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.

A big thank you to Starscape (McMillan) for a paperback ARC and to NetGalley for the access to a digital ARC.
Profile Image for Nikki.
90 reviews1 follower
January 30, 2019
I loved this so much!! I've never read a Filipino story in this scale and I'm so happy to come across this. Reading this was such a joy because I felt transported back to my home country. I've read a lot of books that incorporate a foreign culture, so for me to understand every Filipino reference, was a really fun experience.

I love the characters and empathized with them and their hardships, and remember seeing similar scenes described in the book when I was growing up.

I think what I love most about this story is how it ends. It started with Nora's mother missing and ends with the sentence that she was coming home. I love that the ending wasn't a magical happily ever after where Nora gets back to the life she knew. Instead, she learns to continue with the life she is given.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
May 20, 2018
I was pleased to receive an ARC of this book to review because it sounded like such an interesting story. I was not disappointed. It is a charming yet disarming story about how quickly families can become impoverished, and how young children can be clever and resilient. I was in Nora's corner from the very beginning and stuck with her, especially when her situation (living in a cemetery along with other homeless families) looked hopeless. This book should be in school libraries -- not only because it's important for kids to understand about homelessness, hunger, and survival -- but because it's such a well-written, engaging story. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Justine from Novels and Panda.
510 reviews227 followers
December 11, 2018
Everlasting Nora is a moving novel! And I am claiming it one of the best out there! I feel among many others; seen and moved by this book.

A powerful prose depicting the struggle of living in middle class going through poverty line. Who had lost a lot from an unfortunate tragedy that occurred. What has been lost, gained, learned, and what is yet to unveil along the way.

From the first sentence that I read out of the book, I was so sure that I will be in for the wildest heart-rending ride of my miniscule life. It had tugged my emotion immediately. It brought me into an in-depth trance. I am not kidding! Everlasting Nora is a book written for the people to be understood and not just to make gain something from the tragedy and pain. Which made me sob longer as I grip my Kindle during the ungodly hours.

Another thing I had noticed is that the book hasn’t italicized the Filipino words throughout the book. It is normalized for the book’s narrative because Nora is a Filipino child. I am so happy-if you’re worried; not understanding these words, there is a glossary in the back of the book for reference so, Marie’s gottchu.

Let’s dive further, the physical surrounding was capture in raw and candid truth. From all places that Nora went and said, the cemetery, the street alley, the hospital, the electricity, and water usage, it may come as a shock to some people but it is real and it is happening still.

Physical appearance, this made me feel so seen. There was this scene where Nora describes Jojo smile.

“When he smiled, his wide nose flattened a little more.”

Ahhhhh, this voiced out, pictured out, poured out emotions from me. I have that nose! And seeing it in a traditional book that was originally published not here in the Philippines but in the U.S. Gods above!


I highlighted plenty, here’s another one…

“I propped my rubber slippers at the bottom of the step and went inside.”

That was highly satisfying!

The events that transpired in Nora’s life has been demanding and inspiring of a challenge. After the accident left with nothing. Nora is left to work; help earn money to have food in her and mother’s bellies, and maybe soon enough to bounce back into school afford to have a uniform, books, and supplies. One afternoon after selling everlasting flowers Nora was waiting for her mother to come home and didn’t days passed still hopeful Nora. Got into action and investigated it herself along Jojo, her best friend the whereabouts of her mother could be. As if their present condition wasn’t alarming enough, what they found out and dealt with in the following chapters intensifies. With the themes of classism, violence, and kidnapping. It was both gut-wrenchingly real and eye-opening.

Family is the people you can lean on the time of trouble, right? Not in most cases, family doesn’t have to be by blood, but with the clearest intent of helping, the characters that played here is at most hard to believe but in reality is true too. You will find the most unexpected people to help you than painful to say of your own blood.

There are a lot of characters that were mentioned here, but they’re barely for appearances and it does appear as one dimensional. I think this was intentional. But our MC, Nora is not. She’s someone who I will never be when I was her age, she’s intelligent, independent, brave and a whole lot more amazing adjectives here!

I mean… Nora was often asked? if it is scary to be living where the dead is, she would answer that the living is more dangers of the dead. This is something my dad said to me too. And she’s embracing it like a pro! at her age! Yes!

As I reached the ending I was squeezing my copy real hard. I was expecting something that will make one cry hard. And I did but in a complete opposite of what I thought was. It was glorious!

Written beautifully moving and engaging, Everlasting Nora is a book you would never forget. It goes deep under your skin. A story that’ll make you laugh, cry, and gasping for help. A tale that’ll fuel one to be better, navigating through the hardships in life, remaining hopeful in the most possibly dire circumstances.

I recommend it to everyone! It is something to be read by all and all ages. It may even surprise adult, well, even better! Of course, given with the caution of these trigger warning: violence, child abuse, classism, extreme poverty/hunger, kidnapping, descriptions of blood and other serious injuries.

I believe this book will be a great classroom discussion too! I hope a lot of people would reach and moved by Nora’s life! One simply can’t help to let Nora into their hearts. Nothing but love.

Profile Image for Amy.
Author 2 books153 followers
April 13, 2018
A beautiful book for middle schoolers that taught me so much about a culture of which I know very little. The world can be a scary place, and bad things can happen to those we love. Yet friends can help us through those tough times and even in finding solutions. It reminds me, yet again, why one of my favorite quotes is from Aesop: No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Thanks to Nora, and Marie Miranda Cruz, I now know more about the cemetery culture/community in the Philippines.

I received my copy from Tor Books. Sorry it took me so long to write my thoughts. Nora is a great character for the target audience. There's a great balance of threat and positive resolution, while also tackling some issues that exist in many cultures.
Profile Image for Melanie Sumrow.
Author 2 books62 followers
April 7, 2018
Wow! What a powerful book! I absolutely adored Nora and how friendship plays a key role in the story. The book shows how even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference in someone’s life. It’s wonderful how Nora learns to appreciate the people around her and never loses hope.
Profile Image for Joan.
2,030 reviews
February 7, 2019
The best part of this story was the multicultural aspect since I believe there is almost no middle grade fiction based in the Philippines. Nora is a dutiful kid who doesn't seem to have a thought besides making money to survive and maybe get back to school one day. She isn't a well developed character. She is stubborn and persistent but otherwise not a whole person. She loves and resents her Mom both, since she resents how much time Mom gambles, although it is not entirely clear if Nora understands until most of the way in the story that her Mom is a gambler. Nora and her Mom live in a graveyard, in a mausoleum of her dead father's. Some of the reason Nora doesn't feel whole is because she is grieving her father and the loss of her previous life. Still, the lack of a three dimensional character left a gap in the story. The confrontation with the bad guy was very melodramatic and the consequence while satisfying was not all that realistic I suspect. I will also note I read this book at a bit of a difficult time when I didn't need a problem story so might be a bit harsh in my grading. Still, recommended for areas with Filipino population but not much else.
Profile Image for Kristina.
860 reviews197 followers
October 20, 2018
This book was so unique, insightful and eye opening! I got it as an ebook from NetGalley to review and I genuinely didn't expect it to have such an effect on myself and make me think.

I loved the story of Nora and her daily life at the cemetery. I've never before about people living in such conditions and it surprised me immensely how they've managed to create a home where the dead are "living".

I highly recommend it if you are looking for something different, humane and inspiring.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,764 reviews82 followers
July 22, 2018
Charles Dickens wrote many of his novels to show what life was like for the downtrodden, for those kids that had slipped through the cracks, through no fault of their own. And like Olive Twist, Nora, in this story, has had bad luck, on top of bad luck, in her early life.

Written about the real life existence of shanty towns in the North Manila Cemetray of the Philippines, Nora has to live in a mosoleum of her father, who died in the fire that destroyed their home. Although school itself is free, in the Philippines, the books and uniforms are not, and so, she can’t even go to school now. She sells everlasting wreaths for the people that come to the cemetray to pay their respects.

The author says that when she, a Philapina, came to Manila, after living in the United States, she was not aware that all the people selling things in the cemetary were actually living there. She realized that she wanted a story that told about the children who lived there, all their lives.

Nora goes through a lot, but has good friends, that help her. So, while all seems lost, she does push through, despite the evil that is around her.

This is a good introduction to children of first world countries, to see how others live.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa Lewis.
51 reviews
May 26, 2018
‪Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz. I thought I was about to read a ghost story, but it’s not about ghosts. I loved learning about the cemetery homes of the Philippines. A great opportunity to teach empathy, friendship, addiction, and so much more! #collabookation #mglit #kidlit ‬
Profile Image for Jennifer.
344 reviews29 followers
December 12, 2018
4.5 stars

Don't ever think that since this is a chikdren's book, the story would be light and fluffy. This pretty much is the opposite.

The story of Nora is such an emotional and inspiring one. She lives in a cemetery with her mother. Both are dealing with grief because of the death of her father. Her struggles only begins there as her mother is a gambler, and that means they're losing more money instead of saving any.

For such a young age, Nora already experienced a lot of heartaches. Losing her father in a tragic fire incident was one thing, but having to stop going to school and doing other people's laundry instead to help her mother earn money is one way of not having a proper childhood.

This book made me realize how we take little things for granted. Nora's story is an eye-opener of what really happens in the slums. This will make you grateful and appreciative of your family, friends, home, and all other things that you have.

I recommend this book not only to middle-graders but especially to adults too. A moving, impactful, and inspirational read.

"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."

"Bahala na. Come what may. Live for the day."

"Hunger and sickness made people want to do stupid things."

"But then again, it might be a good reminder of what not to do for the sake of money, and how to never, ever again lose hope."

Soundtrack: One Life by Boyce Avenue
Profile Image for Bibliophilic Richard.
447 reviews58 followers
April 4, 2021
Actual Rating: 3.5 / 5

Although the story was heartwarming, I felt its structure to be a little too linear and simplistic. Most of my concerns about this book revolve around the story and how convenient several elements come into play whereas most of my praises stem from the representation and essence of the novel. I love how poverty is presented well and how the readers could connect to the difficulties the characters have to undergo. Overall, this is an eye-opening book that could challenge readers' perspective on privilege and one wherein we can think of ways to help out people in need, not just whenever it is convenient but each time we get the chance to.
Profile Image for Sheena.
209 reviews16 followers
March 10, 2021
Read this for work, but it turned into a pretty heartwarming, but also sad story with a heroine that you will admire. I loved how to author included so many cultural motifs!! (Or at least I felt like they were motifs LOL

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2021 - A book you think your best friend would like If you're reading this Pollyna, I think you'll like this one. but also you are bound by work obligations to read it too lol
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,210 reviews11.7k followers
May 27, 2021
Heartbreaking yet hopeful, I’m glad I finally got around to reading Nora’s story. (Or listening, as the case was.) It was compelling from the start, and to read about scenarios and places I’ve seen with my own eyes in the past was really something.
Profile Image for Kathie.
Author 2 books64 followers
July 26, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

Wow.. I’ve read very few books set in the Philippines, so it was so interesting to learn about the way that some individuals live. Nora’s life is filled with challenges and obstacles that were overwhelming sad for me, even though there is hope and community in the story. This is a powerful and eye-opening story.
Profile Image for Lana.
321 reviews21 followers
September 17, 2018
Thank you so much to NetGalley, MacMillan-Tor/Forge and the author Marie Miranda Cruz for this advanced copy of Everlasting Nora, that will be released in just two weeks(October 2, 2018).

This story was so unique and beautifully written, I did not want to put it down! Nora, a twelve- year-old, is living day by day in a cemetery after a fire took their home and her father, leaving Nora and her mother alone. Her mother wasn’t making the best decisions for them either as she was getting them further behind with gambling debts.

I was really cheering for Nora as she had to endure so much disappointment and shame, yet had to carry the burden of providing for her and her mother. She wanted to so badly go to school, live in a real home and feel like a normal little girl again with a bright future.

I really appreciated reading a children’s book that highlighted some of the realities of homelessness, I think this is very important for children to understand how some families struggle.

As sad as the story is, I still really enjoyed reading it and was very satisfied with the ending. In the author’s note at the end, she discusses her inspiration for the story which made me love having read it all the more! 💗 My opinions are all my own.
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211 reviews64 followers
November 6, 2018
Such a beautiful story! I loved getting to know Nora and the people in her life. Truly a great children’s book for adults and children alike.

I had never heard of grave houses before, so this story was educational. The author made me love the characters and learn a great deal about life in the Philippines. It was easy to feel compassion and to put myself in Nora’s place. This story deals with tough subject matter but is written in a way that will be easy for children to relate to Nora.

I highly recommend this book for families, classrooms, and middle grade kids to adults.

*I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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