Cross My Heart and Never Lie


Tuva was looking forward to the start of seventh grade so much. After all, at the conclusion of sixth grade, she and Bao and Linnéa were so close, and charged by thoughts of a Bog club house. However, now everything’s changed.

Although Linnéa explains that the women in her family are always more sophisticated earlier than others, there seems to be something more. Linnéa is so confident in herself, and then in her feelings for her boyfriend. Certainly following Linnéa’s older sister’s social media influencing is one step that Tuva might take, but it doesn’t feel right.

Then again, Bao’s determinedly against anything to do with boys or makeup or shopping. In fact, she’s determined that Tuva is too. Yet what is Tuva? Who is Tuva?

She’s still enjoying Dad’s music lists, his lasagne, but missing her friendships. Then again, she’s excited by band practice, especially at the arrival of Mariam. In fact she cannot stop thinking about Mariam, but what does that mean? For example, what does it mean for her and Linnéa, Bao, and Dad…. Can’t anything be kept private? Does there have to be a label, or is Tuva being FAKE about her feelings?

Alongside outstanding graphics and a presentation that draws you in so you’re immersed in Tuva’s conflict, there’s such insight and understanding. Bookwagon is proud to recommend Cross My Heart and Never Lie to our emotionally mature middle grade, and older readers too.

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Cross My Heart and Never Lie

Nora Dåsnes, translated by Matt Baggueley


Cross My Heart and Never Lie, Tuva might offer, if only she knew the right course of action. It seems as though seventh grade has opened a whole can of worms. How is Tuva supposed to act? Supposed to be? Is it best to be like sophisticated Linnéa, wearing mascara to school and have a boyfriend? Then again, is it better to be like Bao without thoughts of shopping, boys orbeing popular? Can’t it all go back to how it was? In fact, how can their bonds, their hopes of building something together in the Bog all seem to have disappeared? Then again, what about Mariam? How does she make Tuva feel?
Nora Dåsnes‘ debut graphic novel was awarded both the Pondusprisen and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s prize for best comic. Bookwagon understands why. It seems as though we’re sharing heartfelt confidences such as we do with Raina Telgemeier’s works, iike Sisters. Then again, we’ve a view of the conflict of growing older and not knowing how to be. Furthemore, we feel Tuva’s sense of alienation. After all, she feels differently from both Bao and Tuva and part of that difference is Mariam. Then there’s Dad. It’s not only his rules and insistence on band practice, his music lists and lasagne. There’s his expectation. In fact, might Tuva’s father be disappointed in her?
It seems that with itsintimate, empathetic presentation and relatable central character, Cross My Heart and Never Lie is a dynamic and meaningful story. Bookwagon loves and recommends this title hugely to our upper middle grade and older readers.


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