The Secrets of Cricket Karlsson

The Secrets of Cricket Karlsson

Kristina Sigunsdotter & Ester Eriksson

Original Title
Humlan Hanssons hemligheter
Natur & Kultur, 2020
Fiction 9-12
Rights Sold
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The Secrets of Cricket Karlsson

Kristina Sigunsdotter & Ester Eriksson

Secrets I’ve only told Nour:
– I’ve shoplifted a pack of tampons at the grocery store (although I haven’t even gotten my period yet).
– I was the one who graffitied that rock behind school (I wrote the name of a rock band I don’t
even like so no one would suspect me).
– Sometimes I’m scared my mom and dad are going to die.

Humlan is going to become an artist just like aunt Fanny who loves cheese and art and always speaks her mind. Not like Humlan’s mom who is dieting and sighs at everything. But now aunt Fanny has lost her spark of joy and stopped creating. At the same time, Humlan’s best friend has ditched her for the Horse girls at school. Sometimes it feels like Humlan turns into an aquarium of tears. Then she locks herself in the restroom at school and drains herself. She is actually pretty good at crying. Maybe she is going to become both a famous artist and a movie star when she grows up?

With dark humor and great seriousness, Kristina Sigunsdotter and Ester Eriksson portray just an ordinary extraordinary eleven-year-old who is trying to find her place in a world full of frightening sixth graders, confused adults and sleepless nights.


Press voices

The voice of a generation, to quote Girls.” Johanna Lindbäck, Expressen

Charming, funny, deceptibly deep” Gayle Forman, NY Times

An emo version of Pippi Longstocking (…) A resouceful everyday hero for the 2020s“ DN

I laugh and gasp through the reading (…) Kristina Sigunsdotter’s text in combination with Ester Eriksson’s equally daring and perfectly unreliable illustrations grabs hold of you from the first page and then it’s just a matter of keeping up with this dizzying, tough, fresh journey.” Expressen

As a reader, you grow with Humlan, it’s an existential and melancholic story that lingersin your consciousness.” BTJ

The title sounds so gentle and amiable, but the content is something completely different. Humlan Hansson’s Secrets is one of the most unexpected stories of the year. You don’t exactly know what is true, but it doesn’t matter in this wonderful, hard, audacious story about Humlan, who is struggling to regain her status as Nour’s bestie, make Aunt Fanny happy again so she can leave the psychiatric hospital, and get her mother to stop sighing. Fantastic text and illustrations in perfect symbiosis! This is one of those titles that will hit some in the right spot. It’s liberating, dark and just wonderful.” Vi Läser

Indeed, they [author Kristina Sigunsdotter and illustrator Ester Eriksson] manage to capture […] on 108 pages the feeling of life at the beginning of puberty, which tends to swing between extremes: from “I hate school, and I hate my life” to “A miracle has happened,” with 18 exclamation marks behind it. The combination of first-person narration and the drawings that complement and comment on the writing will delight children who don’t have the stamina for several-hundred-page novels.” Heike Nieder, Süddeutsche Zeitung

The mental health of children and teenagers is just as much at risk as the mental health of adults: It is important to address and de-taboo both. The special quality of the book is the linguistic and visual intensity and raw honesty with which the subject is tackled: in 2020 it was awarded the August Prize for the best children’s and young people’s book of the year in the author’s and illustrator’s home country.” Ursula Scheer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In the same series

Winner of the August Prize 2020

The jury's motivation:
"The balancing act between existential pain and humor is congenial in Humlan Hansson’s Secrets . The disarming story of best friend betrayal and growing pains is kicked off in diary form. Kristina Sigunsdotter’s text is twisted and extraordinarily alive. Ester Eriksson excels in darkness, and her illustrations capture Humlan’s artistic soul. Here, the Horse Girls actually have horse heads, and the mentally ill aunt’s art gives relief to Humlan’s existence in a text and image collaboration that offers both roaring laughter and heartache."