Noughts and Crosses is a 2001 young adult novel by Malorie Blackman. The main characters are Persephone Hadley and Callum McGregor, who live in an alternate reality where society is divided into Noughts and Crosses. The Crosses live a life of privilege and power, while Noughts struggle to get by in a system that was never designed for them. Sephy, a Cross, and Callum, a Nought, have been best friends since childhood, but as they grow up the wedge between them is driven deeper. They will never understand each other’s lives, but can their love overcome their differences?
This book provides a stark narrative that discusses racism, social injustices and prejudices. It is told from the point of view of both Sephy and Callum, so that the stories of both their families are told. Noughts and Crosses is the first of a 6-book series, and Malorie Blackman has also written many books for younger readers.
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Reviewed by Josie, age 14