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Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Noughts And Crosses)
 
 

Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Noughts And Crosses) [Kindle Edition]

Malorie Blackman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (502 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

Malorie Blackman is a fine, award-winning author whose work is always inclined to provoke debate amongst her readers, and indeed her peers. With Noughts and Crosses she surpasses expectation not only with her subject matter, but with the execution of a stimulating and provocative plot line that often leaves the reader chilled to the bone.

Sephy and Callum have been best friends since childhood, and now they are older and they realise they want more from each other. But the harsh realities of lives lived in a segregated society are beginning to take their toll: Callum is a nought--a second-class citizen in a world dominated by the Crosses--and Sephy is a Cross, and the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country. The barriers they would have to cross to be together at first seem little more than minor obstacles to the two idealistic teenagers, but soon those barriers threaten not only their friendship but their lives.

Noughts and Crosses is written with the passion of an author who has a personal message about the perception of the past, present and future, and Blackman has used the clever device of turning preconceived ideas of racial prejudice upside down to make sure that her point is well and truly made. Deeply disturbing and totally absorbing this novel is intriguing from the outset, with a shocking climax that packs an unforgettable punch. (Age 11 and over) --Susan Harrison

Amazon Review

Malorie Blackman is a fine, award-winning author whose work is always inclined to provoke debate amongst her readers, and indeed her peers. With Noughts and Crosses she surpasses expectation not only with her subject matter, but with the execution of a stimulating and provocative plot line that often leaves the reader chilled to the bone.

Sephy and Callum have been best friends since childhood, and now they are older and they realise they want more from each other. But the harsh realities of lives lived in a segregated society are beginning to take their toll: Callum is a nought--a second-class citizen in a world dominated by the Crosses--and Sephy is a Cross, and the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country. The barriers they would have to cross to be together at first seem little more than minor obstacles to the two idealistic teenagers, but soon those barriers threaten not only their friendship but their lives.

Noughts and Crosses is written with the passion of an author who has a personal message about the perception of the past, present and future, and Blackman has used the clever device of turning preconceived ideas of racial prejudice upside down to make sure that her point is well and truly made. Deeply disturbing and totally absorbing this novel is intriguing from the outset, with a shocking climax that packs an unforgettable punch. (Age 11 and over) --Susan Harrison


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Youth Classic that just misses the mark 2 July 2007
By Mr. T. COLEMAN VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
My wife is a teacher and is going through this book with her pupils. Call me snobbish, but despite her protestations that I really should read it, I was reluctant - I'm not a teenager, for one, and feared I'd find it tedious and craftless.

How wrong I was. Blackman's novel is superbly paced and stylistically clever. The dual first-person-narrative structure really works and showcases Blackman's excellent ability to write convincing voices that are diametrically opposed (13 yr old Sephy from the ruling class with her affluent but sheltered naivety, and 15yr old Callum - a young man brimming with anger and disaffection).

It's the contrast between these two protagonists that makes this novel so compelling. Blackman really fleshes out the basic morality tale of "Racism is bad / Equality is good", avoiding simplistic answers. There is no neat closure here. Heroes commit atrocities and villains make broken gestures of kindness. Ironically, there is no black and white. Such richness was thrilling, especially when you consider this is written for the teenage market.

More than this the plot unfolds with the timing of a thriller, and even though one can see developments and twists approaching from a mile away, Blackman writes it so well that I found myself hardly caring. The events that transpire might be predictable, but the complex and brave characterisation make the ride compelling.

On the down side, there are some clichés that trip the story up at times. It's not enough to cripple the narrative, but it does slow it down and I, for one, found myself annoyed at such small but noticeable setbacks. These clichés can be brushed over and you can still thoroughly enjoy the text, but for me it stopped the book becoming a bonafide classic.
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150 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! 23 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book because I'd read a lot of Malorie's other books and really liked them. But this book is like nothing I've ever read before. It's so class, I don't know what to say about it. It's a bit like Romeo and Juliet but tons and tonss better. I felt like I wasn't just watching Callum and Sephy but I was them. I could understand exactly why they behaved the way they did. And I actually started thinking of them as real people. I'm still thinking about them. They both made me laugh and - I admit it - they both made me cry. I'm glad no one knows who I am. It's a bit embarressing for a 15 year old boy to admit that a book made him cry but as long as my friends don't find out, that's okay. I loved this book. I'm going to read it again now. It made me think more about racism and prejudice where I live, in my school and even at home. I wish everyone could read it. It's so good, it deserves to get 5 and a half stars out of 5.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than entertainment 1 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is about racism and prejudice of all kinds - it's both entertaining and educational. The writer shows the viewpoint from both sides of the 'fence' and shows why prejudice is a two-way thing that ultimately hurts both sides. Blackman encourages the reader to look at their own attitudes by pointing out things that might never have occurred before (eg - I never thought how plasters are only made in a pinky-white person kind of colour before!) I think that any intelligent person (child or adult) who reads this book will put it down having learnt something about themselves, society and the importance of equality. This is a good book and I can't wait to read the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book you'll EVER read!! 18 Mar 2005
Format:Paperback
My best friend read this book, told me about it and lent it to me, but although she siad it was an amazing read, until I opened the book at the first page and got emersed in the world weaved by Blackman for myself, i could not begin to imagain how much this book would come to mean to me and how, years later, i have not been able to stop remembering and recomending it.
The character's of Sephy and Callum are so well described that you feel as though you personally know them, and desperately want to intervene in their lives at the crucial points in the plot when their lives are most uncertain and their emotions so raw and sincere. Malorie Blackman not only writes to entertain the reader, but to challenge societie's views on race, relationships, power and ultitimately, love. for Sephy and Callum, at the heart of their relationship was a true and persistent love, of the kind which many of us strive for, for ourselves or for our world. I can't reccomend this book enough, but as it was for me, you cant't even begin to appreciate the beauty and pain of this book until you pick it up for yourself, and once you do, you'll not be able to put it down until the very last page, which will leave you desperate for the sequel (which is probably the second best book I have ever read. But again, please don't just take my word for it).
One word of warning though, don't even think about reading this book without a copious amount of tissues to hand, as you will need them for every emotion which will be played upon. I have read this book twice now and I think I cried longer and harder the second time, despite that fact that i knew what was to come. Please, read it!!
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I read Noughts & Crosses in one go, although I didn't mean to. It grabbed me from the second chapter and wouldn't let go. It took me all day and well into the night to read it as I'm not a very fast reader, but it was worth it. This book made me laugh out loud in certain bits, made me tear two of the pages in my haste to turn the pages in certain bits and the end of the book made me cry. No book has ever done that before. The whole story was brilliant! There isn't a single bit that I thought was boring or had to skip over. And when I closed the book, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's the best book I've ever read in my life. I don't think five stars are enough. It should have 10! It should have 100! Read it now. You'll love it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!!!!
This series is my favourite series I have ever read. Teenagers will love this book because it has a very interesting storyline and it is written from the two main characters... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Mhairi
5.0 out of 5 stars noughts and crosses book one
Loved every single word. A gripping, amazing and fascinating story about two friends who try to stay friends throughout their tough circumstances..........
Published 9 days ago by Emmajo
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Dystopia I've ever read!
Fast paced. Action pact. Incredible!
Published 10 days ago by BookLifeReviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought this for my son and he loves it. Will get the rest of the series for him
Published 15 days ago by maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
This is a very gripping book that I couldn't put down. Very well written with an excellent plot.
Published 19 days ago by Sandy W
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!
I really enjoyed this book, although it was a bit obvious through the 1st person points of view what was going to happen in the end... Apart from that a well written book! Read more
Published 22 days ago by Eleanor
5.0 out of 5 stars as well as exploring forbidden love and friendship
I read this book as I am due to start teacher training and wanted to get as many of the curriculum novels under my belt before I start. Read more
Published 22 days ago by M Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
I thought Noughts and Crosses was an astonishing read. It’s incredibly well written and a very powerful book. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Chrissi Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Purchase!
Published 28 days ago by lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really interesting read
Published 1 month ago by Lauren Young
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‘when you’re floating up and up in your bubble, that bubbles have a habit of bursting. The higher you climb, the further you have to fall.’ &quote;
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‘If you’re black, that’s where it’s at. If you’re brown, stick around. If you’re white, say goodnight.’ &quote;
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