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Noughts and Crosses Series


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crispychez 24th January 2006 09:47 PM

 

Noughts and Crosses

 

This book it actually teenage fiction but is being discussed on the Radio 4 book group sometime in the future (date to be announced). I didn't fancy reading it because I thought the language would be too simple as it is written for younger readers so i found the audiobook at my library as it is easy to listen to when driving.

 

I'm really looking forwrad to the discussion on radio 4 as I think there may be quite a heated debate. The book is set in what I'm assuming is an England (all though never says) where the crosses run the country and have all the money and naughts are the scum of the country. It tells the story of a naught boy and a cross girl who have known each other since birth. They are great friends at the beginning of the book but due to a terrorist party called the Liberation Militia all that and a whole lot more changes over the next few years.

 

I think it is a great book for teenagers to start to understand some political issues and really raises some interesting discussion points.

 

 

 

Thumbsucker 24th January 2006 10:02 PM

 

The author is Malorie Blackman and Noughts and Crosses is the first in a trilogy. I agree it's an absolutely amazing book. I introduced it as a year eight reader at my school and the students love it. Most of them cringe when they first see the size of it but I haven't met a child yet that hasn't enjoyed. It also means that some reluctant readers are inspired to read the next two books, which is just what I need a book to do.

 

 

 

crispychez 25th January 2006 11:38 AM

 

Hi thumbsucker. I didn't realise it was a trilogy - do the second and third books follow the same character?

 

 

 

Grammath 25th January 2006 01:43 PM

 

Sorry, crispy, but that last post so needs a spoiler in it!!

 

 

 

crispychez 25th January 2006 02:00 PM

 

Grammath - sorry I had to just delete it because i don't know how to do them - can you tell me?

 

 

Flingo 2nd February

On the subject of Noughts and Crosses though, I really enjoyed this, and in comparison to other of Blackman's work it has so much more to it. She has written so many books, and this is certainly her crowning glory. I did not think as much of the second one as I did of Noughts and Crosses (Knife Edge? or is that the 3rd?), but they were certainly both books to make you think (not read the 3rd one).

 

Malorie Blackman is also giving a talk for Hants Lib Service in Winchester at the end of Feb. If anyone is interested PM me and I will try and get hold of tickets for you!

 

 

 

Thumbsucker 3rd February 2006 09:19 PM

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by crispychez

Hi thumbsucker. I didn't realise it was a trilogy - do the second and third books follow the same character?

 

 

Yes the bookks follow the same character. However, I haven't read either of them. My collegue read Knife Edge and her opinion was the same as Flingo's.

 

 

 

Flingo 4th February 2006 01:26 PM

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by crispychez

This book it actually teenage fiction but is being discussed on the Radio 4 book group sometime in the future (date to be announced).

 

 

Just so as you know - she is on in April. Sunday 2nd and repeated Thursday 6th, at 4pm.

 

The second one is called "Knife Edge" and the third one is "Check Mate" - I think CM has just been released in paperback.

 

 

 

katrina 5th December 2006 07:26 PM

 

Noughts and Crosses

 

I was really surprised to find that this novel didn't already have a thread.

 

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

 

 

An unforgetable book with an ending that was a big shock.

 

I highly recommend it, has anyone else read it yet?

 

 

 

megustaleer 5th December 2006 08:24 PM

 

There was a thread started for Noughts and Crosses in 21st Century Fiction which didn't really get into a discussion of the book. I have now merged it with your thread, Katrina, but it appears ahead of your post because the software puts the posts in date order.

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I've just read "Knife's Edge", about a year after "Noughts and Crosses". I wanted to go and slap Jude so much I hope he dies in the next book....... :tapedshut

 

It annoyed me the whole letter thing from Callum, I cannot stand misunderstandings and I think even if you did want someone to move on, you wouldn't go that far.

 

I enjoyed it just as much as the first though.

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I liked this series, and if there's another one I'll definately read it, but it's not entirely my sort of thing. I think the story is good, but the way it is written I find a little, not sure what the word is, slow, perhaps? I think maybe it's just that I left it a bit too late to read it, I think I was a little above the identified age audience, perhaps. I've tried reading other Malorie Blackman books and have to admit I gave up after the first chapter. I have also to admit that there were times when reading these books that I wanted to give up, but I didn't, and so that's got to be to her credit. I think it's an interesting way of looking at a complicated situation, and her way of showing the story from different people's points of view is a really good way of getting the ideas across.

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Just read these three books (though I think there is a fourth) and while they were entertaining enough, I can't really give them a thumbs up. There just is something missing from them. The people are all just so miserable and they hardly ever do anything to make their lives better. And I suppose there is a way to write about such people that might make you connect with a wider sense of misery of everyone and anyone, these books don't do it. I just was getting really tired of them all by the end of it.

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According to Fantastic Fiction, there are actually 5 titles, though I think Eye for an Eye was a short World Book Day preview of Knife Edge:

 

Noughts and Crosses

1. Noughts and Crosses (2001)

aka Black & White

2. An Eye for An Eye (2003)

3. Knife Edge (2004)

4. Checkmate (2005)

5. Double Cross (2008)

 

I've renamed the thread "Noughts and Crosses Series" as the last title has been published since the thread was started.

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According to Fantastic Fiction, there are actually 5 titles, though I think Eye for an Eye was a short World Book Day preview of Knife Edge:

 

Noughts and Crosses

1. Noughts and Crosses (2001)

aka Black & White

2. An Eye for An Eye (2003)

3. Knife Edge (2004)

4. Checkmate (2005)

5. Double Cross (2008)

 

I've renamed the thread "Noughts and Crosses Series" as the last title has been published since the thread was started.

 

Thanks for the list Flingo, I didn't know about An Eye for An Eye so I know to look for it now.

 

After lots of pupils raving about the series I finally read the first one this week and i can see why they love it! I found the noughts/crosses scenario ingenious and something that seems to work for teenagers to make them think about racial prejudice in a new way. I definitely enjoyed reading it. Short chapters really worked too, and I didn't find switching between character viewpoints difficult (which suprised me). Not sure about it being a full-on crossover into Adult fiction though, I'd put it firmly in good teenage fiction but that's not a bad thing.

 

Looking forward to book 2, hoping to enjoy the other books as much as the first.

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They're very well-written. This is Young Adult Fiction at its best.

 

I've got Eye for An Eye. It's very short and is a separate story from Knife Edge- well, it's set just before Knife Edge, I think. Jude comes round to Sephy's flat, and I think the story switches just with their point of view.

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I finished book 2 yesterday and I have to say

that Jude McGregor is a right nasty piece of work! Real psycho material. Not even material, just plain psycho really. Bit of a stretch for me that we're supposed to somehow sympathise by understanding where he's coming from. And yeah the letter from Callum was really annoying too. I hear book 2 is the weakest of the series, hoping part 3 is a bit more satisfying.

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