Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools… Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…
©2001 Malorie Blackman (P)2004 Random House Audio Go
I chose this book because one of my students was reading the book and needed some help understanding it since English isn't her first language. I am so pleased that I did! It was a terrific book that kept me engrossed all the way through it. I could relate to it on many levels. I was a teenager during the American Civil Rights Movement. I could remember the Black Panther Movement. I was reminded of the IRA in Ireland. Now living in Australia I could see a relationship with the struggles of the Koorie population.
I am recommending this book to be put on our Year 10 reading list! I can see lots of discussions with the students.
My one annoyance is that the rest of the series is only available in abridged versions. The first book ended in such a way that I wanted to get right into the next book. Looks like I will have to buy the printed or e-book versions.
No, once was nice, but also enough.
It confronts you with your views and makes you think about the stereotypes you have.
It was nice that there were 2 narrators for the 2 main characters. However, the girl was a bit overdramatic every now and then (Syan Blake) and the boy was a bit difficult to understand here and there (Paul Chequer).
The ending: unexpected!
Listen to the sample first before you buy. If you like the narrators, this is definitely a story worth listening to.
"Good idea but seems to be a Book for Teenagers"
I liked the idea to make you think about Black and white differently, but it seemed to me it was targeted more on Teenagers
It was great fantastic
I loved it a great story, great narration ( It was perfect I like it when the different characters have different voices which is the case for this book.)
For me it was a perfect book.
It is great for teenager or older children, because I loved it, adored it and I'm 14 and my sister too she is 12
Hope my review helps you with your choice.
I had 100% satisfaction with my purchase and hope you do too
Jodie 14years old
This worked fantastically well as in-car listening to, from and during our holiday in Cornwall last year. It is accessible both to adults and to teenagers, and we often sat in the car at the end of a journey to finish a chapter. The story is based on an interesting twist on our traditional notions of racism, but this is in no way labored, but rather provides the backdrop for the human stories we encounter.
The scenario is compelling, the drama powerful, and the echoes of Romeo and Juliet beautifully ironic, but the language marks this title out definitively as a YA novel: not one to pick if you're on the trail of lyricism, or an arresting turn of phrase. The reading is generally effective, but Paul Chequer brings to Callum's narration a sneering tone that I hadn't expected and didn't enjoy.
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