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Noughts and Crosses Trilogy - Malorie Blackman

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Malorie Blackman / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 448 Pages / Book is published 2006-08-08 by Corgi Childrens

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      14.01.2014 13:52
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      A sledghammer moment leads to a page turning stomach churning adventure.

      Book: Noughts and Crosses (Noughts and Crosses only review) Author: Malorie Blackman Classified as a teenage novel, whilst that is certainly the age group the book is aimed at, Blackman's Noughts and Crosses has a lot of weight regarding the fundamental issues of a dystopian society. The society that the story is based in is wrong in so many ways, and early on when you realise the main change to society as we know it or would have expected it to be 50 or so years ago in the United States of America. The synopsis would suggest a Romeo and Juliet type story line and yes whilst this features in the book, Blackman's unique writing style has created a novel that is built around a society that is both unique and shocking, however, when you stop and think about the storyline it is all based on true facts. The horror and fear the events could all have really happened. The main characters that the story revolves around are poor little rich girl Sephy and ambitious bright shanty town boy Callum. *********** Spoiler Alert Paragraph(this knowledge will spoil the sledgehammer moment in the novel): The crux of the novel is that the roles of black and white Americans has been reversed. The blacks hold all the power and wealth, whilst the whites are the underclass. Citizens in the book are living in a community where racial discrimination and segregation are very, very real. Written in a wholly believable style the themes of the novel are tackled with considerate ease to sensitively draw in the reader and subtly teach them the wrongs of the situations that arise. ************ Spoiler over! Childhood ignorance and indeed sweet innocence sees Sephy and Callum as childhood best friends indeed young sweethearts, yet Callum's mother is Sephy's wealthy mothers maid and the two young children are allowed to play together and grow up as best friends. When Sephy's school allows a few people from Callum's class to attend their lives are never to be the same again, their lives are endangered and they have to fight to see each other at the young ages of sheltered 13 and 15 year olds they have to grow up fast. The actions and positions of close family members impact strongly on the pair the growing feelings for each other cloud their emotions and they are constantly tested and torn between loyalties to their families, their peers and each other. That Blackman is a master story teller is a given, her prose is wonderful and absolutely perfect for the target readership utilising comical metaphors at times will lighten the load of the chapter just enough for it not to all become too unbearable, indeed her use of metaphor alone is enough to make this an English teachers dream teenage novel! Often the feelings were described not just poetically but with prose that even a twenty first century boy reading the book for its adventure will not be afraid to be seen reading. Blackman's characters are painfully realistic and cleverly described to enable the reader to feel they are actually there as a little bird on the shoulder of the current protagonist. The novel is told from different viewpoints and goes from chapter to chapter utilising these different sets of eyes and thoughts. Blackman spins her main characters of Sephy and Callum to signify the people who have and are and indeed will go through similar circumstances. Hopefully never, ever to the same background again, but the realism of Blackman's characters makes the reader ache for them. Moreover Noughts and Crosses based in a fictionalised dystopian world, does so easily address issues that arise today, those of relationships, discrimination, prejudice and inequality that could fit into much of society. The friendship and first love aspects are covered with tenderness and sensitivity and there are no apologies for the inclusion of prejudice and violence that are so necessary to get the moral aspects across. The topics covered are both frightening and essential to be brought to life so that young minds can avoid the errors of the past. The book is an essential read for teenagers and will be an enjoyable read for boys and girls of around 14 years old. Noughts and Crosses is also an advised read for adults, especially parents of pre-teens or anyone involved in the care and responsibility for young people. Blackman is a master writer and highly acclaimed for very good reason, as an adult reader I find some of her work a little "young" Not so Noughts and Crosses. It is a must read novel. Stars 5/5 A clever concept that tackles some tricky issues. Price and Availability: From Amazon at just £3.85 paperback at the time of writing - also from other outlets. Also available to borrow from libraries, look for it in the Young Adult section. Thank you for reading and I hope you found my review useful?

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        15.11.2012 10:02
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        A fantastic book

        About the book Noughts and Crosses is the first book in the series of the same name by Malorie Blackman. The book was originally published in 2001 but the series has recently been repackaged. The book is 512 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com) 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? What I thought People had been telling me for quite a long time to read this series so when I got offered to review the whole series, I jumped at the chance. Malorie Blackman turns racism on its head in Noughts and Crosses by having dark skinned people (Crosses) rule the country while white skinned people (noughts) are in the minority. Sephy and Callum come from opposite families but have been brought up together, as Callum's mother works for Sephy's family. When Callum's mother loses her job though, it pulls him and Sephy apart, with everyone telling them that they can't be friends anymore. I really enjoyed how Blackman created a world which was so like what ours has been in the past but switched around the roles. Many things about this book makes you think about what life would be like if the roles had been reversed in the past. There is plenty explained about the past and the present, and how different things have an impact on everyone's lives. One of the most important things in this book to me was showing that noughts were not allowed to go to the same school as Crosses. Noughts were only allowed to go to school up until the age of 14, with a select few finally being allowed to go to Cross schools. An education shouldn't be kept from anyone and this had a huge impact on how some of the characters felt. Both main characters, Sephy and Callum, while understanding how their world works, don't understand why it cannot be changed. I loved the innocence of both characters as to begin with, all they wanted is to be able to stay friends without having to sneak around. When Callum is allowed to go to Sephy's school, she gets so excited about spending more time with her best friend although that doesn't last long. Callum knows that things won't be easy for him at school and tries to explain to Sephy that they have to pretend not to know each other. I felt so sorry for the both of them for being forced into a terrible situation. As the book goes on and Sephy and Callum grow older, and more away of how their world really works, their friendship is put to the test. Callum especially becomes a lot more away of the situation his family is in and how they will probably never grow to be anything or do anything good. Sephy, however, comes from a very well off family and her life couldn't be much more different to Callum's. Although this book is largely about friendship it is also about romance. Sephy and Callum have a very slow building relationship in the ways of romance but it made it all the more believable. Noughts and Crosses is told from the points of view of both Sephy and Callum which means that you really get to understand both characters and to understand what they are feeling in certain places. They both have very distinct voices and voices that matter very much. Some parts of this book were quite hard to read due to the subject matter but overall, Noughts and Crosses is an important and emotional read. I can see why it is now being used in Secondary Schools.

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          22.10.2011 12:12
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          Many moral issues to sink your teeth into. This book will make you a better person.

          Noughts and Crosses was a very mind opening book for me. At a young age, reading this book probably made me grow up more than anything else. It touches on so many moral dilemmas that it leaves you a very opinionated person, ready to argue the next time one of your friends tells a racist joke, scorns at the story of a young pregnant girl or says the typical, 'they should bring back capital punishment for some people'. I really can't praise this book enough and it's many layers: morals, love, friendship, teenage foolishness, general comedy, and complete heart aching sadness all make up to one fantastic read. Through the use of split first person (where you follow more than one person through their eyes), this novel brings you to such a point of being emotionally involved, that you can't help but follow the story on the edge your seat, wondering what is going to happen to your two new best friends: Callum McGregor and Persephone (Sephy) Hadley. The story doesn't reveal the flipped nature of society at the start, but lets you build up a picture until you finally click, white is black, and black is white. In this reversed society, it shows black people (crosses) as being dominant over white people (noughts) which is the opposite of how society used to be (thankfully everyone is entirely equal now in this country). This is confusing to start with, but eventually makes complete sense as you realise the author is simply showing you a moral point, from the other person's shoes, or skin tone, as it were. For me, this completely opened my eyes. Although it shouldn't have, this method really strengthened my already reasonably strong morals. It is possibly a sad thing to say it took a reverse of the situation to make me think, but perhaps some other people found this as well. Many moral points are covered across it's 445 pages, the obvious main point being racism. This book is my 'moral must have' for everyone, not just teenagers, and is one of my favourites because of it. The book shows you an almost modern 1900's society, where modern technology exists, but racism is still high. People's abuse of each other, use of swear words to describe the other side (dagger for crosses and blanks for noughts), terrorists fighting in the name of equality and general social inequality are all rife in the world we have been presented. The novel causes a person to really think how unfair the world used to be, and how much better it is for social equality. As a young teen, it makes you re-think and take stock of your opinions, making you a better person. In my opinion, a book can do no better. The next moral point presented is the idea of family, and wealth versus poverty. Sephy Hadley is rich, Callum McGregor is poor. We gain an understanding of how each character lives and I found I didn't know who to feel sorry for the most. Callum's family is extremely poor, they live off of the bare minimum and an eye opener for me was the line 'water and milk - that was all we ever had. Unless we were extra short of money, then it was just water'. However, although Callum lives in poverty, he has a loving family. Even with a sister who's not quite there, and an extremely racist brother (who upsets Callum over his disapproval of Sephy), Callum's family is presented as extremely preferable to Sephy's. Persephone Hadley is as rich as Callum is poor. Living in a mansion (drawing room and all), Sephy enjoys orange juice at every meal, and a computer in her room. This style of living, closely juxtaposed with Callum's (literally a page apart) makes you think closely about the general inequality of society, and will hopefully make you more willing to buy a 'big issue' or donate to that charity box at the corner shop. Family is also juxtaposed. Whereas in the previous chapter Callum's family laughed and fought as a family does, Sephy's family shows two isolated sisters, a soon to be alcoholic Mum (another moral point) and one very angry Dad, who is constantly away at work, and is shown to shout at Sephy in the chapter, for overhearing a conversation with a work colleague. Terrorism play a key part in the novel, and is another of my moral points. The Liberation Militia fight for equality. Three characters in the book become involved with the group, Ryan McGregor, Jude McGregor and Callum McGregor. Terrorism is constantly in the news today, with scares featuring most commonly. With days like 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings still fresh in our mind, the book shows us the utter pointlessness of terrorism. The Liberation Militia never accomplish anything (that I can see) and they always end up hurting or even killing people. The shopping mall bombing kills many people, all to make a statement. I found myself literally asking out loud "what's the point?", and I think this is what the author intended. One of my favourite things about this story is how it doesn't shy away from any sensitive issues. If you want a down to earth, realistic, emotionally engaging read, then this is it. It fails to shy away from issues such as racism, as well as others such as suicide and sex. Many people (parents usually) have criticised the book for featuring sex. In my opinion it was needed in order to develop the characters relationship, develop the story and also as a side point, promote contraception. Supposed rape, young pregnancy and single parenthood, which are all prominent news items today, feature as issues as well. The way these issues are seriously presented makes a teenager stop to think next time they joke about the problems, and will hopefully make them hold their tongue from insults. Essentially you could call Noughts and Crosses a love story (even though it is so much more as well). The friendship and eventual love between Callum and Sephy is engaging, authentic and above all, tragic. The twists and turns of their relationship make for an enticing read. And although teenage love is said to be folly, this is anything but. The author has very cleverly conveyed the characters to make the story genuine in all aspects, not just their love. My final moral point in the novel is the idea of capital punishment. One trial that takes place in the book is Ryan McGregor's and he risks capital punishment if found guilty. The threat of hanging a beloved character brings out dislike for this form of sentence, and brings the issue to the forefront of your mind during this section. However, with the help of Sephy's mother, Ryan is able to avoid the noose, but what happens to him next makes you wander if it were an accident or planned. This brings in the moral point of fair government, and made me think of amnesty international, a group which fight for human rights. I've already said that this story doesn't shy away from issues, and the amount of sensitive moral dilemmas presented shows this. The ending leaves you heart broken, and probably crying. The ending isn't fair, but it couldn't have ended any other way. It is an immensely powerful conclusion, which completely hammers home all the moral issues presented. The moral problems conveyed throughout make you think, and hopefully, as it did for me, will make you a better person. The second and third book of this trilogy complete a fantastic storyline which is thrilling to the last word. The second features more heavily the problems of single parenthood, and the third with issues relating to children of mixed race, and the difficulties they faced in society. As well as this more relating to the Liberation Militia is given. These two books are also fantastic. They are only slightly overshadowed by the first in the series, due to a more powerful ending, but are brilliantly written and styled. I always think the first in a series is the best anyway. My 'moral must have' book: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. For all those who want to laugh, cry, smile, frown, get angry, and fall in love, this book is perfect.

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            28.05.2010 01:31
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            Excellent book full of love mystery and action!

            This is one of my favourite books ever so it's a bonus that it's not a quadrilogy! If that's even a word. I am yet to finish reading the fourth book but the rest were incredible. Stories of love, hate, war, politics, families racism. So much to get your heart racing. I'm even going to admit that one of the books (I think the end of the second) made me cry! And i've never even cried at a film! Having read them from about the age of 15 I would gladly read them all again now and love them just as much so I dont think they should be categorized as childrens or junior books but for ages 14+ maybe. I know my mum enjoyed them too Blackman's writing style is brilliantly descriptive but allows enough room for your own imagination to seep in. Honestly worth reading - as addictive as harry potter!

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              23.05.2010 09:21
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              I strongly suggest reading this book

              My brother read this book about a year ago and recommended it to me not long after. I am on the third book of the series now and it is sort of like a modern Romeo and Juliet story. It is set in a racist world where a black girl called Sephy falls in love with a white boy called Callum. The book is fantastic because it really makes you want to read on. Noughts and Crosses is all about forbidden love and how hurtful some people can be. I strongly suggest reading this book because Malorie Blackman is a fantastic author who expresses all the feelings and emotions in the book, making it much more interesting to read. I have already suggested it to quite a few people and they are enjoying it just as much as I am. However, the third book isn't as good as the first and second and I'm told that the fourth book isn't very good either.

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                01.03.2010 21:22
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                Based on Romeo and Juliet but set in modern times

                I absolutely love this book. Its based on the story of Romeo and Juliet but is set in a world where racial predjudices have been flipped on their head - Blacks, or Crosses are socially superior and whites or Noughts are treated as second class citizens. Sephy, the equivilent of Juliet, is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country and Callum is just a nought. The two have known each other since infancy as callum's mother works for Sephy's mother. It seems impossible for them to find a way to be together but they are determined to try... If you don't like tragic love story's then this book is not really for you. Its a real tear jerker and certainly made me cry at the end. However, there are more books in the series as instead of the typical Romeo and Juliet ending where both lovers die, Sephy lives on to contiune the story.

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                12.02.2010 20:47
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                Just read it

                This has to be my favourite book ever! I borrowed it off of a friend because everyone was saying how good it was. I only had to read through the first 3 pages to really get into it. What is it about? It is about a clash of families. It's like Romeo and Juliet but more modern. There is a boy called Callum and a girl called Sephy and they have been best friends for ever but their parents hate each other and they are from different social backgrounds. It's all to do with skin colour in this book. If you have dark skin you are better off and if you had pale skin you were considered dangerous and a social out cast. Later on in the book, Sephy gets sent to boarding school and and Callum didn't want her too and while she was away, Callum turned to join a terrorist group and kid napped Sephy! Read the book to find out what happens! Make sure you have your tissues next to you.

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                  10.01.2010 15:40
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                  This book will challenge every assumption you make.

                  Having joined a book club at work, I baulked at the suggestion of reading a children's book. Surely, over christmas, I wanted a gripping tale - one of twists and turns with unexpected events around each corner and perhaps a hint of romance for good measure. I shouldn't have worried - "Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman exceeded every expectation I had. Once I sat down to read the book it prooved to be a real page turner - keeping me up late at night until it had been read from cover to cover! The basic premise is that we live in a land where there are two groups of people - the Crosses who rule and the Noughts who are classed as second class citzens. Reaching across the divide are the two central characters - Callum and Stephy - who begin the story as small children and the reader watches as they grow up and become more aware of the troubles around them. This is a real story of racism at its extreme - with a hint of Romeo and Juliet at its core. The action scenes are a little graphic and I was surprised to see such harrowing scenes within a children's book. However it was not surprising to find that "Noughts and Crosses" was a winner of The Children's Book Award. Hours, days and weeks afetr reading this book it wil continue to haunt you - particularly the ending which I defy anyone to read without tears streaming down your face. Don't be put off by a supposedly children's book - give it a try!

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                  22.10.2009 14:42
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                  Read it.

                  Noughts and Crosses is a young adults' book written by Malorie Blackman and published by Random House in 2001. It is the first of a five book series that was released to critical acclaim culminating in Blackman receiving the Children's Book Award. The book deals with the subject of racism and is set in a world where people are judged solely on the colour of the skin. I first read Noughts and Crosses when it was first published and, being about eleven at this point, found it a fascinating read. Having recently recommended it to my younger cousin I thought I would take another look at this children's novel to see if it was as intriguing a read as I remembered. Noughts and Crosses tells the story of Sephy and Callum, two teenage friends who live in a world where their friendship is not accepted simply because of the colour of their skin. Sephy is a cross (she has black skin) and so lives a privileged life especially as her father, Kamal Hadley, is one of the most influential people in Britain. Callum is a nought (he has white skin) and as the name suggests is considered a nothing and a second-class citizen. Callum and Sephy met at a young age when Callum's mother, Meggie, was Sephy's nanny. After Meggie is sacked Sephy and Callum are forced to keep their friendship secret as the rest of the world simply won't accept that noughts and crosses can mix. Callum's friendship with Sephy becomes yet more problematic when, enraged by Meggie's sacking, his father, Ryan, and brother, Jude, join the Liberation Militia. This often violent terrorist group will go to almost any length in order to achieve its supposed aim of equality between Crosses and Noughts. As Callum's family are drawn further into this world will his friendship with Sephy be strong enough to survive? Can they both manage to see past the colour of one another's skin? In my opinion is a beautifully written book that manages to convey an important message in a way suitable for younger people. The story is original and has many different and unique characters. I found that the switching of narrator between Calllum and Sephy a nice, simple method to show young people both sides of the story. I think this novel is suitable for ages 10 upwards as there as some chapters discussing sex (obviously not graphically) and violence/killing which parents probably wouldn't feel suitable for younger children. It would also be a great book for children moving from junior to young adult/adult books as it is clearly aimed at younger people yet uses sophisticated language techniques and a good range of vocabulary that will aid young readers in that transition. However, there's nothing to stop adults enjoying this book either as I think it does cross-over between the generations quite well. This novel is quite clearly about racism and the effects of judging people simply on the colour. I think that via literature is a fabulous way for young people to learn about racism and how it is wrong as opposed to lecturing them in classrooms. Blackman manages to avoid patronising her readers; a mistake frequently made by other children's authors and instead writes articulately and intelligently. Even as an adult I found sections of the book very moving and better than many novels of this genre aimed at adults. The ending in particular is absolutely sublime and a fitting finale to a brilliant novel. In Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman has produced a young adults book of exemplary quality. The story is intriguing and moves along at a good pace with a well-balanced combination of dialogue and description. I like the idea that the story has a moral to it and that young people will learn something from this piece of fiction. The book is probably aimed slightly more at girls than boys though I think both sexes could get a lot out of it. Overall a highly commendable novel that young adults will love (and if you give it half a chance I think you will too!)

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                    09.10.2009 18:42
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                    Highly reccomended!

                    Well, I don't particuarlly enjoy reading, but I don't dislike it, however if I have the house to myself I love to have a nice warm bubble bath then pick up a good book! I picked up this book the other day in Waterstones for around £5.99, although it was in the junior - young adult section I have heard nothing but good reviews about it! The storyline is about racism and the way that blacks used to be inferior to the whites, but this time it is reversed in this revoloutionary book! Noughts and crosses gives you much of the information you need to know to understand the book, the blacks which are the dominant and powerful race are the crosses, while the whites which are little anad controlled by the crosses are the noughts. But this story focuses on the life of two young people named Sephy and Callum, Sephu being a cross and Callum being a nought which just adds to the drama and the passion of this story. As young children they would play together at Sephys large house as her father is the head of government, while Callums mother is employed as the house cleaner. They had a relationship where they could tell one another anything, until one day it all changed. Sephys mum (Jasmine) was trying to get Callums mum (meggie) to cover for her on a night out when her husband quizzed her, though Meggie unknowingly denies that Jasmine was with her that night. This was what caused the catastrophe, dilema, deep rooted anger and hatred, but most of all passion, passion for love, to be themselves and not to be judged by the colour of skin in Sephys and Callums lives. As they grow older they learn that the world isn't such a bright and wonderful place, which raises many issues for them, but in despite of it all they try to fight to find a way to be together. This isn't as easy as what they think with their differences seemer bigger than ever and them rapidly growing apart! That is all I am going to say for now, but the dramatic and shocking ended just dramatises the ending to the first book in the trilogy! I would definitley reccomend this to anyone who fancies a gripping and thrilling read, but I would make sure that you have time on your hands as you will end up wanting to read all 3 in one go and is one of the books that once you pick it up you can't put back down! I would reccomend this to people who like fast, action packed storylines which aren't dragged out for ages only to read you to the wrong conclusion. The storyline is pretty moving at times so I would reccomend having a box of tissues at your side! This is a trilogy of books but recently a new one has been released: Noughts and Crosses Knife Edge Checkmate Double Cross (new one!) xx ***** This is also published uner CIAO under the same name *****

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                      15.07.2009 15:48

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                      A really exciting read, i would reccomend it to everyone. Deffinately re-readable!

                      Im going to start by saying this book is amazing (as is the whole set :Noughts and crosses [an eye for an eye] knife edge,checkmate and double cross) This is a book i couldn't put down at all and even though i read the set in the order 1 4 2 3 it didn't make a difference althoug if your wanting to read these i would read them in the right order as you may spoil some things for yourself. In the world of noughts and crosses the black comunity (crosses) are the people who are in controll where as the white comminity (noughts) are frowned upon. The story is connected to two families A nought and cross family. I could sit here and tell the whole story because it is so great but i will let you read it, all i cn say is i think it is a book for everyone, one filled with hidden romance, suspense, tradgedy, voilence and everyday discrimination issues. OVERALL 10/10 an amazing book. i was hooked from the first few sentences!

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                      01.06.2009 17:12

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                      Great read with a great story!

                      I absolutely love this book! The story of an alternative world, where the black people are the power race and the whites are the condemned and where capital punishment is prevalent. The story follows Sephy (cross) and Callum (nought) who grow up together and are meant for each other. But due to circumstances which forces them apart, both lives take on a separate track with Callum turning to crime and terrorism. The story is not only beautifully told but Blackman really knows how to develop her characters. The misunderstandings and unfortunate forces the reader to feel compassion for the two characters and you just will them to be together in the end. It is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet (and it even has a balcony scene!) but this story is dark and makes the reader think about the world we live in terms of racial equality. The ending is not pretty but it adds to the yearning affect Blackman is aiming for. Luckily, the yearning is for more of the series (wanting to know what happens to Sephy etc) and that comes from the rest of books in the saga.

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                      23.03.2009 20:11
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                      Amazing book worth the money

                      When I read Malorie Blackmans book Noughts and Crosses it seemed like a popular book since most people in my year had read it, this was in 2005 or 2006. I've read it quite a few times and never fails to bore me. In this book basically it's all switched around and blacks have power over whites. A cross is someone who is back, and a nought is someone who is white. This explains the title. Sephy is 13 and a cross and Callum is 15 and a nought. They're best of friends and Callum has just gotten into her school, only a few noughts got in and of course his life ends up hell even more. But what's worse they have feelings for each other which makes things worse for both. Now at this part, I am going to try my best not to spoil one thing about this basically, Callum ends up with some family problems you could say, and at one point Callum leaves and they don't speak for years. Then something huge happens and then it gets even more complicated. The way the book is written is very good, each chapter is Sephy or Callums life, it doesn't leave you puzzled either. There are three other books that follow, Knife Edge, Checkmate and Double Crosses.

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                        15.01.2009 23:12
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                        A breath-taking must-read.

                        .... Wow.... Overview: I first read this book when I was younger, 14 I think. And it is one of those rare books that has the power to fundamentally change how you think and perceive the world. I was never racist, I was brought up in a culture with so many racial flavours that difference in race was never a problem because I didn't even think about it; the division simply didn't exist for me. Nevertheless this book was a shock to my system. Malorie Blackman is a revolutionary writer - she highlights racial segregation and gives it heightened impact by swapping the historical roles of oppressing white people and oppressed coloured people, so as coloured people or Crosses are the cream of society and the Noughts - white people - are the 'ex-slaves'. This spin on things - for me - serves to reinforce that there is in fact no fundamental difference between races in so far as being a human being is concerned and that the dire historic situation of slave and master, and any continuing class segregation was originally down to chance and is viciously unfair and unjust. Plot: Written in the first person, each chapter alternates between the two main characters Sephy the Cross and Callum the Nought. The story follows them from their mid teenage years to their late teenage years, and maps out their turbulent love affair and very different lives that are inflicted on them by race. Sephy is desperately unhappy as her family is dissolved by alcoholism and affairs fermented by boredom, money and politics. Callum's life and family fall apart due to racial prejudice, a freedom fighting cell and Sephy's family. Their love story, full of loss and despair, is hopeless and agonising, yet at the same time infinitively beautiful. Characters: All the main characters in this story are well-developed, believable and heart-wrenchingly human. Audience: Not suitable for younger readers. Teens and adults who don't mind a simplistic style of writing will love. Rating: Five stars: Believable and striking characters, amazing story line and a fundamental message that has the power to change the way people think.

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                          04.01.2009 20:32
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                          I loved it, and the rest of them- if you like it it, make sure you read 'An Eye For An Eye' next.

                          I read this book both in English class and in my own time. I have been quite outstanded by it and have had to read it several times to make sure I havn't missed a thing. It is hard to explain what is so good about it, but it is definetly one of the most moving books I have ever read. It has a sort of 'Romeo and Juliet' feel to it. It is about two people, black and white in colour of skin, who meet up in secret and soon realise that they have feelings for each other that excel mere friendship. I wont reveal anything else, but will tell you to be ready to have a little weep, even if you feel you dont usually cry at these things. In this book you switch between Sephy and Callum and learn about each of there feelings. I reccomend this book to ages from 12 upwards really. Hoope you enjoy like I did.

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