Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

My final Rereadathon book! This was one of my favourites when I started secondary school. I think I was starting to edge towards more politically inspired novels at that point and this was the perfect bridge for me!

Noughts and Crosses is set in an alternate timeline where racial prejudices are essentially switched and black people are superior to white people in society. It was necessarily uncomfortable reading for me as an eleven year old white girl and I think that was exactly the point: to show a distorted enough version of the real world to illustrate to people who have never experienced those prejudices and violence a fraction of what is must have been like.

The second time round I definitely got more of the undertones than I did originally. Some of the darker aspects, such as suicide and abortion, probably went somewhat over my head before. And I wouldn’t have really picked up on the real life historical implications of Callum’s anger that no important nought person is mentioned in their history lessons.

I never read the sequels to Noughts and Crosses, mainly because I was so upset by the end of it, but I feel like I should now. Malorie Blackman is definitely a staple YA author and I’m glad I still see her books on the shelves at school! 


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