Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses

Written by Malorie Blackman
Part of the Noughts and Crosses Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

Michael Rosen on a compelling favourite: "A book that dared to go where no one thought you could with young audiences because it raises tough stuff to do with race."

It takes a brave author such as Malorie Blackman to consider a sequence of the like of Noughts and Crosses and to pull it off with utmost aplomb. Award-winning author Blackman has tackled the issues of racism and prejudice in a world set in an alternate historical reality. Although 11 year olds will take great joy and learn much from reading this first one in the sequence, adults will devour it with equal enthusiasm. The contrast of the two main protagonists makes the novel totally compelling and the writing style is both original and superbly paced. The plot unravels at the pace of a thriller and as a consequence it’s a book that is almost impossible to put down.

Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.


Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Sephy is a Cross - a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought - a 'colourless' member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that's as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum - a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger.


Malorie Blackman's books have won several awards, including the Children's Book Award for Noughts and Crosses. She has also won the W. H. Smith Mind-Boggling Books Award and the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Pig-Heart Boy was adapted into a BAFTA-award-winning TV serial. In 2008 Malorie was honoured with an OBE for her services to Children's Literature.

About the Author

Malorie Blackman

Children's Laureate 2013-2015

Malorie Blackman had a variety of jobs before she became a full time writer and spent many years working as a Database Manager for Reuters travelling extensively within Europe and the United States.

After 82 rejection letters, her first novel, Not So Stupid!, was a selected title for the 1991 Feminist Book Fortnight, and Malorie participated in the first BBC TV Black Women’s Screenwriting Workshop in 1991. She has written a number of books for young readers including the Whizziwig series, which have been dramatised successfully for children’s television.

Her dystopian novel series Noughts and Crosses has won the Children’s Book Award, and she has twice won the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Award (for Hacker and Thief!) – the only author to have done so. Malorie writes across a range of subjects for children and teens, addressing diverse and sensitive issues.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008 Malorie received an OBE for her contribution to children’s literature and was awarded the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon award in 2005.

Malorie was selected as the Waterstones Children's Laureate in June 2013 taking over from Julia Donaldson. She will remain in the post for the next 2 years. The title of Children’s Laureate is awarded to an acclaimed author or illustrator in acknowledgment of their outstanding contribution to their field, and Malorie is the eighth recipient of this honour.

She lives in South London.

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Book Info


512 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Malorie Blackman
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Random House Children's Books

Publication date

7th September 2006




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