October 02, 2018
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 shantytown 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.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
It's so important that students read about what life is like for other children their age in other parts of the world, or children in the US whose lives are very different. If you liked Saaed's Amal Unbound or Yang's Front Desk, this is another great title to offer to students to expand their horizons. I love that Nora is bright and would really like to attend school, and even does some work with a man who has a mobile school that comes to her area. Even though Nora struggles to get food and water, she is upbeat and proactive about her own life and shows a lot of resiliency and skill in survival. For adults who loved Little House on the Prairie for the way Laura had to use her pluck to survive, I believe that books like this are the thing to hand to students now instead! The glossary of Filipino words and phrases is helpful, and the details of every day life are amazing!
I'm assuming that this takes place in the modern day, but it might help readers who don't know about life in the Philippines to somehow indicate this. I would have liked a little more information, and maybe a map!
As a child, I loved books set in different historical periods that told me details of every day life. If there had been books about children in other parts of the world, I would have loved those as well. It's great to see more #ownvoices accounts of life in different countries!
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