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Malorie Blackman

Author of Noughts and Crosses

93+ Works 6,964 Members 165 Reviews 8 Favorited
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About the Author

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Works by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses (2001) 2,139 copies
Knife Edge (2004) 850 copies
Checkmate (2005) 772 copies
Double Cross (2008) 406 copies
Boys Don't Cry (2010) 230 copies
Pig-Heart Boy (1997) 223 copies
Hacker (1992) 164 copies
An Eye for an Eye (2003) 108 copies
Thief! (1995) 105 copies
The Stuff of Nightmares (2007) 103 copies
Cloud Busting (2004) 98 copies
Tell Me No Lies (1999) 89 copies
Noble Conflict (2013) 88 copies
A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E. (1997) 78 copies
Crossfire (2019) 78 copies
Chasing the Stars (2016) 77 copies
A New Dress for Maya (1992) 64 copies
The Ripple Effect (2013) 61 copies
Hostage (1999) 57 copies
Dead Gorgeous (1729) 54 copies
Shining On: 11 Star Authors' Illuminating Stories (2006) — Contributor — 50 copies
Love Hurts (2015) 45 copies
Nought Forever (2019) 43 copies
Dangerous Reality (1748) 42 copies
Operation Gadgetman! (1964) 41 copies
Snow Dog (2001) 41 copies
Unheard Voices (2007) — Editor — 41 copies
The Deadly Dare Mysteries (2005) 40 copies
The Monster Crisp-Guzzler (2002) 35 copies
Endgame (2021) 33 copies
Space Race (1997) 33 copies
Sinclair, Wonder Bear (2003) 22 copies
Jon For Short (2013) 21 copies
Jack Sweettooth (1995) 20 copies
Trust Me (1992) 19 copies
Whizziwig (1997) 18 copies
Girl Wonder to the Rescue (1995) 18 copies
Callum (2012) 18 copies
Jessica Strange (2002) 17 copies
Betsey Biggalow is Here! (1992) 15 copies
My Friend's a Gris-Quok (1994) 14 copies
Robot (2015) 14 copies
Ellie and the Cat (2005) 13 copies
Peace Maker (2016) 12 copies
Betsey's Birthday Surprise (1996) 11 copies
Contact (1997) 10 copies
Deadly Dare (1995) 10 copies
Lie Detectives (1998) 10 copies
Computer Ghost (1997) 10 copies
Magic Betsey (1994) 10 copies
Marty Monster (2008) 9 copies
Forbidden Game (1999) 8 copies
Fangs (1998) 8 copies
Heart Break Girl (2014) 7 copies
Hurricane Betsey (1994) 6 copies
Impact: Horror Set D (1997) 5 copies
Words Last Forever (1998) 4 copies
A Dangerous Game (2018) 4 copies
The Quasar Quartz Quest (1997) 3 copies
Grandma's Haunted Handbag (1996) 3 copies
Peril on planet Pellia (1997) 2 copies
Whizziwig Returns (1999) 2 copies
La révolte ou la paix (2018) 1 copy
North 1 copy
Dizzy's Walk (2008) 1 copy
Mrs Spoon's family (1995) 1 copy
Scary Stories (1997) — Contributor — 1 copy
Elaine, you're a brat (1994) 1 copy

Associated Works

Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories (2014) — Contributor — 261 copies
Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories (2014) — Contributor — 259 copies
Free? Stories About Human Rights (2009) — Contributor — 117 copies
Centuries of Stories (1999) — Contributor — 55 copies
Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers (2019) — Contributor — 53 copies
Doctor Who: 13 Doctors, 13 Stories (2019) — Contributor — 48 copies
Mirrors: Sparkling New Stories from Prize-Winning Authors (2001) — Contributor — 13 copies
Joyful, Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices (2022) — Contributor — 3 copies


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Common Knowledge



British Author Challenge December 2023: Malorie Blackman & E. M. Forster in 75 Books Challenge for 2023 (Thursday 11:05am)


Last in the dystopian series set in an alternative Britain in which a 360 degree turnaround focuses light from a different angle on racism, with the setting an alternative history in which Crosses, black people, have always been the dominant civilising force, with white people as former slaves only emancipated fifty years before the timeline of the story. Noughts, as they are known, face the sort of racism that in real life is directed against black people, including the abusive term 'blanker', and massive discrimination in education, employment and all other important areas of life.

In this final volume, the focus is on Tobey, the best friend and would-be boyfriend of Callie Rose. Most of the story is from his viewpoint, due to the circumstances which beset Callie, so it returns to the original structure of alternating viewpoints for much of it then a big chunk in the middle by Tobey. I found it made for a tighter story in some ways. However, the racial angle, so key to the earlier books, isn't so much of a main issue this time. Instead, the story focuses on the two rival crime gangs which rule the area where the two young people live, and how they impact on their lives and on the community. Tobey becomes pulled into criminal activity, despite knowing it is against his best interests, drawn by his long-term friendship with Dan who has become a "delivery boy" for one of the criminals, and who tempts Tobey to help him and to share the payment.

Callie Rose is dealing with her guilt over the death of her grandmother, Jasmine, her mother Sephy's mother, blown up by the bomb which Callie had been persuaded to make by her terrorist uncle in book 3 of the series. She also fears that he escaped the blast given that the person killed with Jasmine is finally identified as someone she has never heard of and she blames herself for killing an innocent man. And when something happens to her, Tobey goes all out to get revenge and nullify the threats hanging over her and his family. Despite the eventual happy ending, there is still the unintended consequence that thanks to his efforts, the crime empire is now united under the control of one man.

One good aspect is that Callie Rose is nowhere near as irritating as in the previous book. The story is also quite a page turner with tension rising as Tobey becomes more and more enveloped in danger from all sides and it is unclear how he can ever prevail. The fate of one 'good' character was also quite a shock. I did however find the resolution of that plot line rather unbelievable given the sudden conscience it required one character to develop, and perhaps the actual ending is a bit too perfect. But on the whole, a solid 4-star read.
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kitsune_reader | 8 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
This is set in an alternative history where white people have been opppressed for centuries and only released from slavery about fifty years before the story starts. It is told in the first person viewpoints of two young teenagers, Callum who is a Nought (white person) and Sephy (Persephone) who is a Cross (black person) from the ruling class. Sephy is more privileged than most as her father is a top politician, tipped for Prime Minister (the book is set in an alternative Britain).

Good points: there was a lot of food for thought from reversing the usual status quo. The position of Noughts in the story is similar to that of African Americans during the 1950s with the real-life bussing of black children to formerly all-white schools. In this story, it happens in reverse when Callum is one of a handful of Noughts allowed to attend Sephy's school, who then face enormous prejudice which engineers their gradual expulsion. Meanwhile, the long standing friendship between the two is put under greater and greater pressure, not helped by Sephy's naive behaviour which is perceived by Noughts, such as Callum's family, as patronising etc. Multiple tragedies are inflicted on his family, all related to the crushing discrimination suffered by Noughts. And Sephy herself receives an education in the way things really are, in her own family as well as in the greater society.

Not so good: the various tragedies that engulf Callum's family were very predicable. The constant switching of viewpoint, sometimes after less than a page, made the book very bitty and made it difficult to get into the characters. I also found Sephy extremely irritating. The situation with the letter that wasn't read in time was very cliched also. However, I do accept that these things would probably not strike the target readership as so predictable/cliched - I've obviously read a lot more books and seen a lot more TV/films etc where similar situations have arisen, albeit in a different context.

I do 'get' also that the feelings of the two characters had morphed into more than friendship although they were both in denial for a long time, but wasn't totally convinced by what happens late in the story when Sephy is placed in great danger. The ending though was very hard hitting for a young adult book. So on balance I would award it 3 stars.
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kitsune_reader | 66 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
Book 3 in the dystopian series in which a 360 degree turnaround focuses light from a different angle on racism, with the setting an alternative history in which Crosses, black people, have always been the dominant civilising force, with white people as former slaves only emancipated fifty years before the timeline of the story. Noughts, as they are known, face the sort of racism that in real life is directed against black people, including the abusive term 'blanker', and massive discrimination in education, employment and all other important areas of life.

This book continues with the structure of alternating viewpoints, this time with Sephy and her daughter Callie Rose as the main ones, although it doesn't come across as quite as bitty as before perhaps because the alternative viewpoints of Jasmine, Sephy's mother, Meggie, mother of Callum (deceased father of Sephy's child) and Jude, the embittered surviving child of Meggie, are much more "meaty" and central to the book than in the last one.

There is quite a bit of dotting about in the timeline, indicated with statements such as 'Callie Rose is seven', and we gradually see how the child develops from a happy trusting child who has been taught to love the father she has never known, without being told what really happened to him, into a disillusioned, confused and embittered teenager who is vulnerable to being groomed by Jude on behalf of the organisation for which he works.

We also see how Sephy contributes to Callie Rose's development in a negative way by being too afraid to tell her the truth and also holding back from showing her real affection because of the incident in the previous book where she endangered her baby's life by hugging her too tightly (an effect of an extreme form of post natal depression exacerbated by the prejudice to which she was subjected as the mother of a mixed-race child).

I found this volume more interesting and with a slightly more hopeful note than the very dark previous book in the series. However it was held back from a full 5 stars because of a couple of points. Firstly, I wasn't totally convinced that Callie would be so 'broken' by the revelations to which Jude subjects her that she is prepared to blow herself up, and secondly I didn't find it convincing that Callum would have sent the second letter to Sephy: the one she received in the previous book and which contributed massively to her mental health issues. There are better ways to tell someone they should get on with their life rather than to pretend everything between them was just down to him using her to help the resistance. The story does also start to drag a little before the final build-up. So I would award this a 4-star rating.
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kitsune_reader | 10 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
Tobey wants out of Meadowview but when a friend drags him into some shady dealings and Callie ends up hurt, he comes up with a plan to take his revenge. I've found the violence and the lack of futures in the whole series hard to deal with and Double Cross wasn't any different. You have to admire Tobey's determination to put his plan into motion and stick with it.
mari_reads | 8 other reviews | Oct 7, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

John Aggs Illustrator
Ian Edginton Adapter
Patrice Aggs Illustrator
Jan McCafferty Illustrator
Doffy Weir Illustrator
Robert Swindells Contributor
Bel Mooney Contributor
Julia Jarman Contributor
Vivian French Contributor
Terrance Dicks Contributor
Julia Bertagna Contributor
Deborah Allwright Illustrator
Celia Rees Contributor
Jacqueline Wilson Contributor
Rosie Rushton Contributor
Meg Rosoff Contributor
Meg Cabot Contributor
Sue Limb Contributor
Cathy Hopkins Contributor
Anne Fine Contributor
Melvin Burgess Contributor
Paul Fisher Illustrator
Syan Black Narrator
Paul Chequer Narrator
Lois Lowry Contributor, Foreword
Derek Brazell Illustrator
Terhi Leskinen (KÄÄnt.)


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