Naughts & Crosses

Naughts & Crosses

4.22 (35,787 ratings by Goodreads)
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Callum is a naught, 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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 161 x 233 x 34mm | 576g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Us
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1416900160
  • 9781416900160
  • 320,514

Rating details

35,787 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 49% (17,548)
4 32% (11,467)
3 13% (4,794)
2 4% (1,405)
1 2% (573)

Our customer reviews

In NAUGHTS & CROSSES, the author creates a very believable alternate world that is almost like our own--but the main difference is a major one. Everything you think you know about race relations and prejudice holds true, but is switched. The ruling class to which Sephy Hadley's family belongs are the black Crosses, named for their supposed closeness to God. The other, the white Naughts, like Callum and his family, are second-class citizens. In this world, it's unacceptable for a Naught and a Cross to be real friends, and unthinkable for them to fall in love. Callum and Sephy are breaking all the rules of the society they live in. The two have known each other from a very young age, when Callum's mother worked in the Hadley household. Even after she loses her job, though, Sephy and Callum remain secretly close. They meet in secrecy, forced to tell lies and make up excuses, but they never stop seeing each other, no matter how difficult it is. Soon, though, they'll see each other every day--but that's not as good as it sounds. A new law has been passed, and a limited number of Naughts will now be allowed to attend Cross schools. Callum has been accepted into Sephy's school, and Sephy's excited to see her best friend more often. Callum, however, knows that letting their friendship be public could prove very dangerous for both of them. Things continue to get worse when Sephy and her mother are nearly caught in a terrorist bombing. Sephy's life is saved when Callum pulls her out of the building just in time, but nobody's fooled--that's no coincidence. Suspicion falls on Callum's family. Callum's father is the prime suspect in planting the bomb, supposedly on the orders of a radical Naught terrorist group, the Liberation Militia, or L.M. They're devoted to their goals of rights for Naughts, and they'll go to any length to achieve them. This world even has a parallel to Martin Luther King, Jr.; Alex Luther is an activist whose goal is to achieve equality peacefully. Callum's mother is a supporter of his, but Callum's father and brother don't believe that Alex Luther's way of doing things will actually get anything done. The events that unfold after the bombing threaten not only Sephy and Callum's relationship, but their very lives and the lives of those around them. NAUGHTS & CROSSES is a fantastic story, and one that will keep your mind occupied long past the final pages. The world created in Malorie Blackman's novel is one that is much like our own, and inspires a lot of "what if?" questions. What if that was our world? It's not so far off to imagine. How would our lives be different? They almost certainly would be. You wouldn't be where you are now. You wouldn't be who you are now; everything would be remarkably different, but still so much the same. Malorie Blackman's writing does plenty to draw you in and keep your attention with the story, not bothering with the excessive and often boring detail used by some authors. It's definitely a page-turner! Sephy and Callum are very well-developed main characters, and the secondary characters are quite believable, as well. The story is told in alternating chapters narrated by Sephy and Callum, which really adds a lot to it. Sephy and Callum are remarkable people, showing the strength that love can have, the bridges it can cross, and the determination to see past what's on the outside. That last quality is one that is, sadly, not as common in our world (or Sephy's and Callum's) as it should be. Sephy and Callum also show how willing children are to love, regardless of the prejudices of their world, before their minds are poisoned by their elders. Sephy and Callum became friends at a young age and, remarkably, they stayed that way (and became more), despite the prejudices of their society. NAUGHTS & CROSSES is a remarkable book, one that you won't want to put down once you've started reading. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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