Cross My Heart and Never Lie

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In this fresh, sensitive, diary-style graphic novel, 12-year-old Tuva's questions about becoming a teenager are confusing--so when her first crush turns out to be on another girl, it feels absolutely wonderful--so why does it become so complicated?

Perfect for fans of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag, HeartStopper by Alice Oseman, and Jen Wang's The Dressmaker and the Prince.

Tuva is starting seventh grade, and her checklist of goals includes: writing out a diary, getting a trendy look, building the best fort in the woods with her BFFs, and much more. But when she starts school, nothing is how she hoped it would be.

Seventh grade has split her friends into rival factions: TEAM LINNEA and the girls who fall in love and TEAM BAO and the girls who NEVER fall in love. Linnea has a BOYFRIEND, Bao hates everything related to love. Worst of all, Linnea and Bao expect Tuva to choose a side!

In this delighfully hand-lettered coming-of-age graphic diary, Tuva gets caught between feeling like a kid and wanting to know HOW to become a teenager. Then Miriam shows up and suddenly Tuva feels as if she's met her soulmate. Can you fall in love with a girl, keep it from your friends, and survive? For Tuva, it may be possible, but it's defintely not easy.

About the Author

Nora Dåsnes was born in 1995, and is a Norwegian writer and illustrator. She did her BA in Illustration Animation at Kingston University outside London, graduating in 2017. Her first graphic novel, Cross My Heart and Never Lie, won the 2020 Pondus Prize. She has written two others, and one is a sequel to Cross My Heart.

"A soft and adorable story of first sapphic love and the trials and tribulations of pre-teen friendships....Reading this was like a warm hug." -- Alice Oseman, NYT Bestselling author of Heartstopper

One of the 150 Most Anticipated Books for Fall -- Kirkus Reviews

"A Best New Graphic Novel. Compelling." -- We Are Teachers

★"Evocative of greats like Judy Blume and Sharon Creech....raw, sweet, relatable, and realistic, this modern classic has a timelessness that will leave a lasting impact." -- Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Featured on Kirkus' 10 Essential Middle Grade Books list

"Oh, Tuva. I want to climb into this book and hug you....Tuva has what it takes to get through this weird time of life....A really lovely look at all the changes that can come with being 12." -- Teen Librarian Toolbox, School Library Journal

"Charming ... captures the challenges of navigating strains on friendship bonds...An absorbing, sincerely told story of adolescent self-discovery and connection." -- Kirkus Reviews

"In this warmly rendered debut graphic novel, structured as Tuva's illustrated personal diary, Dåsnes punctuates Tuva's anxieties surrounding her fear of losing friends via styles that shift between sparsely detailed monochrome panels and moody full-color spreads that capture Tuva's indomitable spirit." -- Publishers Weekly

"Timeless and international....the "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret" of the 21st Century....a relatable and touching story with incredibly charming and captivating art. " -- Viewpoint Books

"I've read a lot of MG books that focus on friendship and what it's like as friends go from childhood to being teenagers, and this one stands out! I love how silly this book was in the way that 11 and 12 year olds are! The doodles and way of thinking felt so true to life. I'd highly recommend this for any kid going through the elementary to middle transition." - Meg Smith, North Carolina Public Schools

"Hilarious and well drawn." - Rogene Carter, American Lee Academy International

"Lovely...the unique format added more emotional depth than one can find in most graphic novels....Dåsnes illustrations have a quirky style that's easy to fall into." - Lucy Kirby, Barrington Public Library

"Diary meets graphic novel.... clever and I loved the handwritten element. Truly adorable!" - Silver Unicorn Books

Publisher: Hippo Park
Pub date: September 19, 2023
248 pages
Format: Hardcover