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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.
Now a Major BBC TV series - this edition contains an exclusive Q&A with lead actor Paterson Joseph
'Stop it! You're all behaving like animals! Worse than animals - like blankers!' Sephy is a Cross: dark-skinned and beautiful, she lives a life of privilege and power. But she's lonely, and burns with injustice at the world she sees around her.
Callum is a nought: pale-skinned and poor, he's considered to be less than nothing - a blanker, there to serve Crosses - but he dreams of a better life.
They've been friends since they were children, and they both know that's as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies - love is out of the question. Then - in spite of a world that is fiercely against them - these star-crossed lovers choose each other. But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger . . . and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come.
Voted as one of the UK's best-loved books, Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses is a seminal piece of YA fiction; a true modern classic.
Packs some powerful political punches - Guardian
Unforgettable - Independent
The Noughts & Crosses series are still my favourite books of all time and showed me just how amazing story-telling could be - Stormzy
The most original book I've ever read Benjamin Zephaniah
|Publication date:||31st May 2019|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers, YA readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, Fantasy / Magical, Romance / Relationship Stories, Personal Social Health Economic|
A World Book Day Author 2019 | Children's Laureate 2013-2015 Malorie Blackman has written over sixty books for children and young adults. Many of her books have also been adapted for stage and television, including a BAFTA-award-winning BBC production of Pig-Heart Boy and a Pilot Theatre stage adaptation by Sabrina Mahfouz of Noughts & Crosses. There is also a major BBC production of Noughts & Crosses, with Roc Nation (JayZ's entertainment company) curating and releasing the soundtrack as executive music producer. In 2008 Malorie received an OBE for her services to children's literature, and between 2013 and 2015 she was the Children's Laureate. ...More About Malorie Blackman