Noughts and Crosses

By  Malorie Blackman

About the Book

Callum is a nought - an inferior white citizen in a society ruled by the black Crosses.

Sephy is a Cross - and the daughter of one of the most ruthless, powerful men in the country.

In their hostile, violent world, noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. But when Sephy and Callum’s childhood friendship grows into passionate love, they're determined to find a way to be together.

And then the bomb explodes . . .

Intensely passionate and totally absorbing, Noughts & Crosses is Malorie Blackman’s original dystopian masterpiece.

‘The most original book I’ve ever read’ Benjamin Zephaniah

‘Unforgettable’ Guardian

What we thinkBlackman Malorie colour c Dominic Turner

"Noughts and Crosses tells the tale of a segregated world and two teenagers who defy at it, but to say anything more than that would be to spoil the incredible thrill of having the story unfold brilliantly before you. Malorie Blackman is a genius of imagination and storytelling”

Also by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is the first of a series of 5 books (including a novella). The next book is Knife Edge.

Her other young adult novels include:
Boys Don't Cry,Trust Me, Random House, Pig Heart Boy and Hacker

Author biography

Malorie Blackman is acknowledged as one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. Noughts & Crosses has won several prizes, including the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award, has been adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is soon to be a graphic novel. Malorie has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

In 2005 Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her contribution to the world of children’s books, and in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature. She has been described by The Times as ‘a bit of a national treasure’.

On World Book Night

Lev, the protagonist of THE ROAD HOME, (my novel chosen to join the list of World Book Night titles), has read very few books in his arduous life as a sawmill worker in eastern Europe. When he comes to England, he’s given a copy of Hamlet by his friend Lydia, whose pedagogical instincts dictate that she work to ‘improve’ his mind. Hamlet is of course way too difficult for a man who has difficulty distinguishing ‘to be or not to be’ from ‘B & B’, but he struggles on with it and eventually finds some affinity with the anguished prince of Denmark. The reading plays a part in opening up and transforming Lev’s life. And this we know from voices around the world: books can transform lives. So let’s hope World Book Night will act as a kind of benign Ponzi scheme for the mighty word.

Rose Tremain

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