Noughts and Crosses
by Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Corgi Books
Publication Date: 2006
Summary (via Goodreads)
Callum is a nought - a second-class citizen; Sephy is a Cross. In their world, Noughts and Crosses don't mix. Can Callum and Sephy find a way to be together? In what has already become a modern classic, award-winning author Malorie Blackman tackles the issues of prejudice and racism in a way that will thoroughly engage and inspire students.
I originally read this book in school and have always loved reading it since. Blackman takes the well know Romeo and Juliet story to a new level by instead of two warring families, the reader is presented with racial differences on a high level. The story begins with two friends Callum and Sephy who can't understand why their parents hate them being together, it's not until they get older that they begin to realise the problem...one of them is black and the other is white, a cross and a nought! Turning the tables on traditional history, Blackman changes the power struggle so that in this case, the white people and the ones living in poverty and crime.
Throughout the book, Sephy and Callum have to come to terms that their friendship will never be allowed or understood by others, both based on their backgrounds and skin colour. I think this book really shows how ridiculous it is to just based on this criteria and how devastating life can be due to this. Throughout reading, I found myself cheering in vain for Callum and Sephy and was heartbroken by the ending.
Although this book is aimed at young readers I personally really enjoy it and recommend it for all ages over 14. I think the book is interesting not only in the storyline but the background politics it brings to the readers consciousness.
A MUST MUST READ!!! Fantastic story that will have you laughing, fearful and crying as the beloved main characters travel through their lives.