5.0 out of 5 stars
Thought-provoking contemporary fiction raising important ethical issues for our world, 22 Mar 2012
I read this book from start to finish today; I just couldn't put it down until I got to the shocking end. I have already ordered the other three books in the series and am desperately hoping they arrive before I go on holiday on Saturday!
Though considered 'children's fiction', I would question this label and consider its appeal to be universal; I wouldn't recommend it to anyone younger than a mature 11 year old with excellent reading skills. Having said that I am looking forward to my 11 year old son reading it to me so we can discuss the political, moral and ethical implications that arise from this though-provoking book.
I won't go into the plot as there are plenty of reviews that have already trodden that ground. Suffice to say this novel is hard-hitting, gripping and unafraid to confront some of the taboo issues of our society head on, in a way that is accessible to young and old adults alike. It is also a fantastic read with just the right amount of description to aid the reader in their visualisation without labouring the storyline or ruining the pace and effect of the plot.
I am a secondary school English Teacher and all of my students that have read it have been incredibly enthusiastic about it (it is a text we are preparing to study at the higher ability end of Key Stage 3 English Literature, or Year 9 (that's 3rd Year Secondary school in old money!)).
Besides its excellent storyline, pace, construct and Blackman's superb orchestration of the entire concept, another selling point of this novel is Noughts and Crosses' wide appeal; I have recommended this book to my 11 year old son, 15 year old daughter, yet also to my husband and my grandad (not forgetting me and my middle-aged female cronies who have also enjoyed it). So not only is it a great book at a great price, but it will be well-thumbed by the time your friends and family have finished with it. This book's originality and ingenious construct have given me a renewed passion for contemporary fiction, I recommend it unreservedly to all young adults and beyond.