Trigger Warning: violence, child abuse, classism, extreme poverty / hunger, kidnapping, descriptions of blood and other serious injuries
Thank you to Starscape Books for providing me a digital review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.
Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz is the book I needed when I was younger. Sure, I enjoyed my time with The Baby Sitters Club and The Boxcar Children but reading a book set in my own country to a place I have visited a few times in my life is really something.
Everlasting Nora is set in Manila North Cemetery in the Philippines. Nora and her mom moved into their grave house (yup, you read that right) after their house was set on fire. That fire also killed her father. You might be surprised (if you’re from another country) to know that there are people living in cemeteries here in the Philippines but that really is a sad reality.
Things I did/felt while reading Everlasting Nora:
- I feel at home while reading this book. I may have not experienced living in a grave house but since it is set in my own country the feeling of reading this and understanding the small things like local phrases is just a surreal feeling.
- I kind of, fangirled. How can I fangirl? I mean this isn’t like other big fantasy book series. I guess I kind of fangirled while reading about my culture in this book. Small things like mentioning local products and famous people in my country is a big thing to me. I grew up reading books set in the U.S. and while it was cool to know their way of living there I was also confused when they mention products and famous people that I’m not really familiar with.
- I was hungry for 80% of the time reading this book. Everlasting Nora mentioned mouth-watering foods locally available like banana que. If you ever find yourself here in the Philippines please try those!
- I crave for a friendship like Nora and Jojo’s. These two kids really stood up for each other at such a young age. As a teacher, I would love my students to read this just so they can get an idea of how real friendship works.
One thing I would like to point out is the use of cursing in this book since this book is meant for middle grade age. Overall, I highly recommend this book for all ages.
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