Book Review: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses
Title: Noughts & Crosses (Book 1 of the Noughts and Crosses series)
Author: Malorie Blackman
Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format and Price: eBook at $10.99
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author:
Malorie Blackman has written over fifty books and is acknowledged as one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award. Malorie has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. In 2005 she was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her contribution to 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 national treasure’. Malorie is also the Children’s Laureate since 2013 until 2015.

About The Book:
Callum is a nought, a second-class citizen in a society run by the ruling Crosses. Sephy is a Cross, and daughter of the man slated to become prime minister. In their world, white naughts and black Crosses simply don’t mix – and they certainly don’t fall in love. But that’s exactly what they’ve done.
When they were younger, they played together. Now Callum and Sephy meet in secret and make excuses. But excuses no longer cut it when Sephy and her mother are nearly caught in a terrorist bombing planned by the Liberation Militia, with which Callum’s family is linked. Callum’s father is the prime suspect and Sephy’s father will stop at nothing to see him hanged. The blood hunt that ensues will threaten not only Callum and Sephy’s love for each other, but their very lives.
In this shocking thriller, UK sensation Malorie Blackman turns the world inside out. What’s white is black, what’s black is white, and only one thing is clear: Assumptions can be deadly.

General Observations:
~Required Reading: I think that everyone should read this book, if The Secret River and Rabbit Proof Fence are standards for VCE, Noughts and Crosses should be standard reading for secondary students as well

~Intense Subject Matter As much as I enjoyed this book, I did have to take a couple of breaks from reading it, one of the major themes in this novel is Racism (as a multi-layered and inter-generational struggle), but it also addresses Alcoholism, Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality. All of these subjects were handled well and without unfortunate implications and that is not an easy thing to do.

~Tear Jerker Ending: I don’t want to spoil the ending, however be prepared to have a box of tissues ready. I suppose the worst part is that these racism issues have still not been resolved or acknowledged. We need more books like this in the world.

RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge

2 comments

  1. I’ve heard of this but I’ve never seen a review until now – it sounds so much better than I thought! Great review 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 Though I know it’s a novel about Racial segregation and Racism, it reminded me a lot of the conflict between UK Protestant and Irish Catholic parties.

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