I started the week out, much like I often do, searching Overdrive for a good audiobook to listen to during my commute. I chose Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz because it was one that I’d been wanting to read for a while and I am glad I finally had the chance to borrow it. The audiobook was performed by Amielynn Abellera who did a great job bringing this book to life. The audiobook includes a listener’s note that shares a glossary of some Tagalog (noted as the national language of the Philippines) words and phrases that appear in the book. It also has an interview with Marie Miranda Cruz at the end by Diana Pho, editor for Tor Teen.
After losing her father and home in a tragic fire, Nora and her mother found themselves living in the Philipines’ oldest cemetery alongside other displaced families. She was no longer in school, had to work several jobs as a labandera (laundress), and her mother was addicted to gambling. When her mother goes missing, Nora faced many challenges to find her and I just wanted to scream at the adults who looked down their noses at her instead of helping!! Her situation was desperately urgent but no one seemed to care. My heart ached for Nora. She endured a great deal of pain, but she emerged from the ashes an overcomer. She never gave up. She did what she had to do in order to get the help her mother needed.
Nora’s story tugged at my heartstrings. I kept thinking, “What more will this child have to go through?” It is a heartwarming book just as I’ve seen many have noted but it is at first very heartwrenching. Nora however, is resilient, determined, and brave and her story should be read widely. I would recommend it for upper middle grade readers in 5th grade and up.
Marie Miranda Cruz | https://cruzwrites.com/
NYPL Overdrive | https://nypl.overdrive.com/
Tor Teen | https://www.torteen.com/about-us/
Amazon: Everlasting Nora