Sunday, 13 February 2011

Book Review: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (New)

Title: Noughts and Crosses (UK) otherwise known as Black & White (USA)
Series: Noughts and Crosses Trilogy
Author: Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Corgi (UK) Simon and Schuster (USA)
Publication Date: 1st April 2002 (UK) 9th January 2007 (USA)
Pages: 448
Special Features: the English copy of Noughts and Crosses also            hold An Eye For An Eye, a short sequel story to Noughts and Crosses
ISBN: 978-0552555708 (UK) 978-1416900177(USA)

'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...'

Noughts and Crosses is a story about emotion, racism and forbidden love. Imagine a world just like ours but the black (Daggers/Crosses) are the ones in control and the the white (Blankers/noughts) are the lower class citizen. A world where the black and white can't go to the same schools, cant shop in the same shops and cant socialize with someone of a different skin color. Remind you of just a few years ago??
But Sephy and Callum, two people of different races, go against what everyone says ans attempt to make their relationship work. Despite Sephy's powerful and Nought hating father and Callum's Cross hating father and brother respected members of Liberation Militia, a violent terrorist organisation aimed at promoting equality between the two races.

Malorie Blackman is a famous English Children's author who i believe does not receieve enough credit nor recognition for this amazing piece of literature. Blackman had been planning on writing this book for a while, due to the lack of black protagnisits in books, along with a dream of reading a book with someone  like herself star in it. The idea came to her one day when she was in need of a plaster but could only find pink plasters, made to go with the skin colour of white people, this is also put into the book.
As she grew up, she was always at the end of verbal attacks from people who hate her due to her skin colour, even today where racism is apparently no longer meant to exist she is still verbally abused and even spat on.
I believe the idea of the book is amazing, she is true we don't have enough books by black people nor books that black people star in. Also the book makes people realize that racism still exist but people try to hide it.

What I thought of the cover?
The cover is very plain and simple, after reading this book i couldn't imagine it having any different cover, it perfectly sums up the book. Also it was the cover that drew me towards it. 
The cover only uses the colors black and white, to sum up the story of the first page. It shows the racial issues that take place throughout the book.

What I thought of the title?
The title 'Noughts and Crosses' automatically causes me to think of being back in lower school around the ages of 5-6, when during reading time we would be read books mainly based on African Amercains, i think one of the books was about Noughts and Crosses.
Malorie Blackman chose this title because Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe) is a game which is played many times throughout childhood, but is completely forgotten as we grow. It's a game full of stradgeies and game plans a game where if you win the battle you will not win nor lose in the war.
The title is different in America though being 'Black & White' this is because American's dont refer to Noughts and Crosses as Noughts and Crosses but instead Tic Tac Toe, but the title didn't fit well. But the title Black &White wouldn't make me want to particullary pick up the book.

Interesting things I discovered
When looking over the book, mere minutes before starting this review I realised someting about the book I did not before. O the blurb and inside the book Crosses u
se upper case for the first letter of the word, where as noughts use lower case for the first letter of the word. It is used to show the Crosses superiority over the noughts.

The Characters
All the characters in the book are completely believable. i also think they are quite simple characters, but this is what makes them the way they are.
Sephy is quite naive when she is around Callum, and is willing to almost give anything up for him.
Callum is protective over Sephy, and a great believer in equal rights.
The character which i believe is most believable is Sephy's mother Jasmine Hadley. Jasmine is supposed to be a trophy wife to her powerful husband Kamal. But deep down inside she is emotionally breaking down: her husband barely coming home, the fear of him cheating or leaving her, and turns to alcohol to heal all her wounds. She is a great literature version of many women.

The book is quite realistic, and i feel that many people would be able to relate to the character. I am unable to. The racism aspect and the forbidden love, along with many of the other characters small sub plots, would be relatable to most of the books readers.
The book is incredibly written, i was able to feel the emotions of the characters when reading the book. I constantly kept a packet of tissues next to me.

I couldn't really pick a favourite and least favourite part of the book, i loved the whole book (all the emotional bits a tad bit less, due to the need to make me cry).
I would recommend this book to everyone, of all ages. Mainly for those who want to see more coloured people star in books.

Ithink the message of this book is....
'Don't judge a book by its cover
Don't judge a person by its colour'

I give this book...

Check out Malorie Blackman's website for more info on this book and any of her other books: Malorie Blackman

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