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Noughts & Crosses


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The first novel in this award-winning sequence about racism set in an alternate reality.

About the Author

Malorie Blackman worked as a database manager and systems programmer before becoming a full-time writer. She has been awarded a number of prizes including the WHSmith's Mind-Boggling Books Award and the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 award for HACKER, the Young Telegraph/Fully Booked award for THIEF! and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for PIG-HEART BOY. She was voted Voice/Excel Children's Writer of the Year in 1997. NOUGHTS AND CROSSES has won five awards and appeared on BBC TV's The Big Read. THE TIMES has described her as 'a bit of a national treasure' and she was awarded the distinguished Eleanor Farjeon Award in 2005.


Gr 8-11-In this first volume of the series by British writer Malorie Blackman (S & S, 2005), the story opens on two childhood friends: Callum, a lower-class nought, and Sephy Hadley, a member of the privileged Crosses, England's ruling class. Noughts are white-skinned and Crosses are black. Callum's mother works for the Hadleys, and Sephy and Callum have practically grown up together. As teens, they fall deeply in love, but in this alternative English world, noughts and Crosses do not mix. As Callum and Sephy move painfully towards the sad and terrible realization that they can never be together, they struggle futilely against the forces threatening to tear them apart. While their families and friends drive the two lovers apart, Callum and Sephy's unshakeable devotion to each other remains a beacon throughout the story. Indeed, it is the only shard of light in this relentless tale of star-crossed love. Expertly read by two stage actors, Syan Blake and Paul Chequer, the story is told in brief alternating scenes. The pair deliver a gripping performance set against the backdrop of segregation, racism, and terrorism. While this is not a tragedy for the fainthearted, the production will appeal to fans of taut drama and gripping suspense.-Celeste Steward, Alameda County Library, Fremont, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Blackman's absorbing but alarming novel deals with themes of racism and prejudice ... Unforgettable" Independent "Stimulating and emotionally satisfying" Financial Times "A gritty read for older children ... At times this is a beautiful love story; at other times it is a harrowing and moral tale..." Bookseller "Packs some powerful political punches...But Blackman never compromises the story, which is dramatic, moving and brave" Guardian "Inter-racial teenage love has never been more painful" -- Amanda Craig The Times

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