Noughts and Crosses


How did I get it?:
I bought it!


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…


A lot of people were surprised when I admitted that I hadn’t read Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. I’m happy to say that I’ve rectified that now. I’m looking forward to continuing with the rest of the series… at some point! I thought Noughts and Crosses was an astonishing read. It’s incredibly well written and a very powerful book.

Nought and Crosses is told through a first person, dual narrative. We hear from 13 year old Sephy, who is from the ruling class. She’s a Cross. Her childhood best friend Callum is a Nought. He has become incredibly disaffected by the society he lives in. It is through these narratives that we learn about the racist society in which our characters live in and experience. Sephy and Callum are incredibly developed characters that the reader quickly can sympathise. I thought these characters seemed to be so real.

Nought and Crosses is all about racism and prejudices of all kind. It is brutally honest about how prejudice hurts both sides. It made me stop and question my own attitude towards things which I think is such a powerful thing to achieve as a writer. I don’t often find myself reflecting on my own beliefs and attitudes when I’m reading a piece of fiction, but Malorie Blackman’s writing made me do so. I think as well as being enjoyable, but heart-breaking, that it is incredibly educational and a poignant read for teenagers and adults alike.

Some of the content is incredibly graphic, so it’s not suitable for younger readers. I think if used effectively with teenagers this book could evoke some important and educational discussion and debate. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

Worth reading if you want to really think about your own attitudes towards racism/prejudice or you like Romeo & Juliet star-crossed lover tales!

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