Noughts & Crosses

Noughts & Crosses

4.21 (65,762 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.21 (65,762 ratings by Goodreads)

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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. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and mounting terrorist violence, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum - a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger . . .
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 32mm | 356g
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0
  • 0552555703
  • 9780552555708
  • 8,078

Flap copy

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.
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. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don't mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum -- a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?
In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.
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Back cover copy


Callum is a nought - a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses...

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country...

In their world, noughts and Crosses simply don't mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? They are determined to try.

And then the bomb explodes...

A gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel set in a world where black and white are right and wrong.
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Review Text

"Blackman's absorbing but alarming novel deals with themes of racism and prejudice . . . Unforgettable"
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Review quote

"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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About Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman has written over sixty books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and a science-fiction thriller, Chasing the Stars. 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 (Jay-Z's entertainment company) curating and releasing the soundtrack as executive music producer.

In 2005 Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children's books. In 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children's literature, and between 2013 and 2015 she was the Children's Laureate. Most recently Malorie wrote for the Doctor Who series on BBC One, and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses series, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children's in summer 2019.
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Rating details

65,762 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 47% (31,209)
4 33% (21,667)
3 14% (9,259)
2 4% (2,608)
1 2% (1,019)

Our customer reviews

This book has ruined me. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read and I really recommend this book to everyone, like literally everyone! This should be a required reading book on school lists. This book has seriously ruined me and I don't even know how to write this review. I don't even know where to start with this book. I have been staring at a blank page for the last couple of days and I just can't seem to write more than “GO BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT NOW.” I actually can't even start a new one, because this story is still in my head and the only thing I want is to read its sequel, but I haven't purchased that one yet. And I think I will also purchase the other books in the series because I need to have them. At school we were forced to read this book and I really enjoyed the book, but I never go to finish it as I had to hand it in to the library before it was too late and I had to pay money. So I never really continued reading it. But since a few weeks I found a need to start on it again and I purchased the book of for 3 euros, which was a great deal to get to reading it again. In this book we learn about the world of Sephy and Callum. Callum is white and a nought and Sephy is black and a Cross. Noughts are the second-rate class, while the Crosses are the ruling class in their society. The division between the two races is very clear and very strict. Sephy and Callum are best friends and eventually even fall in love. They will fight for what's right and they will fight for their love. Noughts and Crosses is a fantastic story, one that will haunt you for a long time after you read it. It will make you want to pick up the next book from the store and continue reading. I started feeling so close to Callum and to Sephy that I just saw everything happening in my head. It just seemed so real at some point. Malorie Blackman has this way of writing that makes you want to cry, laugh, and have every single emotion at once and you just don't know how to feel about certain things. I wanted to cry at the end, but I couldn't cry, because I seemed content about the ending, but I want to read the next parts really bad now. I just can't even write a proper review for this one. Just I recommend this book to everyone, literally everyone. Just read it and tell me what you more
by Sandra Beekhuis
This was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog, as it is one of my all time favourites but I wasn't happy with the review so I've decided to redo it. I absolutely adore this book, always have and always will. It is one of the first books that I read that managed to make me an uncontrollable, inconsolable, blubbering mess. Quite honestly, I cried like a baby because this book made me care that much. I read it first when I was about eleven and since then I reread it practically every year along with all the other books in the series. It is told from both Sephy and Callum's points of view, which at the time it was one of the first books I had encountered that did this. I really enjoy getting different perspectives in books, I feel it brings something more to the book and now it's something I really like to find in a book. I think it's part of the reason Jodi Picoult is one of my all time favourite authors, she always provides different point of views in her books. This book will get you thinking, and though it is a love story at heart it is full of suspense and nail-biting moments where you don't want to turn the page because you're scared of what you'll find. So a word of warning to all who read this magnificent book, have your tissues at the ready as it will make you cry, all expensive objects far away from you as you will be tempted to hurl things across the room when it all gets a bit too much and it would also be a good idea to not have anything planned for the next day, you will most likely be sitting up all night trying to finish this. This to me is a classic and a book that everyone should read. It will get you thinking and really make you care for these characters that you will still be thinking about them for years to come. Now my baby cousin has turned eleven I already have a set purchased for her for Christmas. And she will love them, otherwise I will have to disown her - I'm only slightly kidding. I don't think I could love Callum and Sephy more if I tried, I have never wanted a couple to work out as much as I wanted it with these two. I loved this book so much, and though the characters are more juvenile then most young adult books I read now it is still one of my all time favourites. In order to prove just how much I adored this book, seven years ago when I got my cat I named her Persephone (that's Sephy's real name by the way!), but like the character in the book, we all call her Sephy. 5/5 Starsshow more
by Reviews from a Bookworm
A grim young adult novel set in a world where the racism of our society is reversed and white 'noughts' (or 'blankers', to be rude) are oppressed by the ruling Crosses. The two young protagonists are from politically active families on opposite sides of the divide, but are childhood friends and hurtle to a tragic conclusion. It is very well written, though I felt it got just a little cluttered with teenage pregnancy and capital punishment alongside the impressive treatment of the big central more
by Nicholas Whyte
"I'm about half-way through this book, and despite being nearly 20 (when the book appears to be more 'teen-y'), Noughts and Crosses is an enjoyable read that takes you on twists and turns through the eyes of Sephy and Callum. It deals with love, politics and racism in a thought-provoking yet engaging way. Even if you think this may not be the book for you, at least try and read a chapter or two, it's too good to disregard. "show more
by a Book Depository customer
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