EVERLASTING NORA by Marie Miranda Cruz
Nora, 12, lives in her father’s grave house in a Philippine cemetery. Written for middle graders, this novel will be eye opening to adults as well.
Nora and her mother have descended into crushing poverty and survive because Nora makes and sells flower garlands to visitors to other graves. Her friend JoJo, 13, and his grandmother assist as well as they can when Nora’s mother becomes quite ill.
Nora is well defined as a normal child who wants normal things. American preteens will easily identify with her and also with JoJo, a child who has never attended school and is his grandmother’s support. The “bad guys” (who are truly bad) are somewhat glossed over.
Friendship, initiative, caring, hope, forgiveness, determination are all traits exhibited by those Nora learns to trust. A heartwarming story that is ideal for a parent/child book club.
5 of 5 stars