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Children's Laureate 2013-2015
Malorie Blackman had a variety of jobs before she became a full time writer and spent many years working as a Database Manager for Reuters travelling extensively within Europe and the United States.
After 82 rejection letters, her first novel, Not So Stupid!, was a selected title for the 1991 Feminist Book Fortnight, and Malorie participated in the first BBC TV Black Women’s Screenwriting Workshop in 1991. She has written a number of books for young readers including the Whizziwig series, which have been dramatised successfully for children’s television.
Her dystopian novel series Noughts and Crosses has won the Children’s Book Award, and she has twice won the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Award (for Hacker and Thief!) – the only author to have done so. Malorie writes across a range of subjects for children and teens, addressing diverse and sensitive issues.
In her spare time, Malorie likes going to the cinema, the theatre and watching TV, enjoys playing computer and board games, and reads absolutely everything...except Westerns.
In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008 Malorie received an OBE for her contribution to children’s literature and was awarded the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon award in 2005.
Malorie was selected as the Waterstones Children's Laureate in June 2013 taking over from Julia Donaldson. She will remain in the post for the next 2 years. The title of Children’s Laureate is awarded to an acclaimed author or illustrator in acknowledgment of their outstanding contribution to their field, and Malorie is the eighth recipient of this honour.
She lives in South London.
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2019 Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman makes a brilliant return to her best-selling Noughts and Crosses series with an all-guns-blazing story of prejudice, love, ambition, politics and violence. In the series launch title, Sephy, a Cross, and Callum, a Nought, challenged the divisions in their society. They paid a heavy price for doing so but they did make changes; racial and class barriers were brought down and the future would be brighter. Or so they thought. But a generation on, while superficially things look better, the prejudices are never far away and where they are, violence follows. When the first Nought Prime Minister is framed for murder he turns to his old friend Callie Rose, daughter of Sephy and Callum to defend him. But crossing the racial divide is still unpopular and both have ruthless enemies. As corruption spills into violence the next generation, Troy and Liberty, are terrifyingly caught up in the conflict. Malorie Blackman’s scope is huge in terms of characters and time- frames in this hard hitting socio-political commentary which has obvious resonance for today.
At last the book to tie up the loose ends of the Noughts and Crosses sequence and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in anyway. The originality of the plot is breathtaking and the characters superbly drawn. You’ll be gripped to the last.
This thrilling new title in award-winning Malorie Blackman’s cleverly observed series, which began with Noughts and Crosses, captures the drama and potential violence of growing up – especially in a world where the Noughts are willing to use violence against the darker skinned Crosses. Violence erupts after a bomb goes off in a hotel killing Callie Rose’s grandmother. While everyone blames a Nought terrorist, Callie Rose knows the truth and it involves her boyfriend Tobey. Malorie Blackman has a great gift for showing all sides of an issue and how individuals make their choices. ~ Julia Eccleshare Lovereading comment: Explosively page-turning, dramatic and full of relevance for our world today, Double Cross is Malorie Blackman's fourth novel in the award-winning Noughts and Crosses sequence. Following in her parent’s footsteps, Callie Rose is determined to fight for equality between races and the kind of society she believes in. But violence from the past threatens to rob her of the future she craves, while her friend Tobey is thrown off the course of his life by the escalating violence of the gang culture that surrounds him. A fast paced thriller, Double Cross also takes a thoughtful look at the escalating violence of contemporary society.
The terrific sequel to Noughts and Crosses and continues the story of Sephy and Callum and their families. Full of mystery, suspense, romance and even murder, you’ll go through numerous different emotions when you read it but in the end you will be throughly satisfied though desperate to read the last in the trilogy Checkmate.
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. Michael Rosen on a compelling favourite: "A book that dared to go where no one thought you could with young audiences because it raises tough stuff to do with race." It takes a brave author such as Malorie Blackman to consider a sequence of the like of Noughts and Crosses and to pull it off with utmost aplomb. Award-winning author Blackman has tackled the issues of racism and prejudice in a world set in an alternate historical reality. Although 11 year olds will take great joy and learn much from reading this first one in the sequence, adults will devour it with equal enthusiasm. The contrast of the two main protagonists makes the novel totally compelling and the writing style is both original and superbly paced. The plot unravels at the pace of a thriller and as a consequence it’s a book that is almost impossible to put down. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers. The Noughts and Crosses Series: 1. Noughts and Crosses 2. Knife Edge 3. Checkmate 4. Double Cross 5. Crossfire Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.
April 2017 NewGen Book of the Month. Shortlisted for YA Book Prize 2017 | An innovative, ambitious page-turner in which the inimitable Malorie Blackman has entwined two of her great passions - Shakespeare's Othello and science fiction - to create a thrilling outer-space-set epic that tingles with romance, danger, distrust and jealousy. Olivia (Vee) and her brother Aidan are alone in space and heading home to earth, the only survivors of a virus that annihilated the rest of the crew, including their family. Then brave, headstrong Vee risks her life to rescue the survivors of a Mazon attack, among them Nathan, with whom she falls in love, deeply, madly and with tempestuous consequences. This energetic riff on one of the bard's best works will also be relished by readers who don’t think they’re into Shakespeare, and Blackman also has a gift for making science fiction appeal to those who “don’t do” the genre. It takes an exceptional writer to pull off these kinds of feats, and Blackman has done so with wit, style and a slick sense of drama. ~ Joanne Owen Please note due to the content of this book we are recommending it for YA readers only. Guardian Children's Fiction Prize Judge Kate Saunders said: “The story drags you along like a mighty engine and had to force myself not to turn the pages too fast. The suspense is brilliant”.
May 2016 NewGen Book of the Month. An innovative, ambitious page-turner in which the inimitable Malorie Blackman has entwined two of her great passions - Shakespeare's Othello and science fiction - to create a thrilling outer-space-set epic that tingles with romance, danger, distrust and jealousy. Olivia (Vee) and her brother Aidan are alone in space and heading home to earth, the only survivors of a virus that annihilated the rest of the crew, including their family. Then brave, headstrong Vee risks her life to rescue the survivors of a Mazon attack, among them Nathan, with whom she falls in love, deeply, madly and with tempestuous consequences. This energetic riff on one of the bard's best works will also be relished by readers who don’t think they’re into Shakespeare, and Blackman also has a gift for making science fiction appeal to those who “don’t do” the genre. It takes an exceptional writer to pull off these kinds of feats, and Blackman has done so with wit, style and a slick sense of drama. ~ Joanne Owen
Malorie Blackman has compiled a collection of short stories from some of the best young adult authors writing today. For anyone who has ever loved and lost - and loved again - it will amuse, entertain, surprise and maybe provoke thought and discussion... Every one of the extracts and short stories contained in this collection are favourites of Malorie's; both old and new. This anthology also provides a brilliant opportunity for every reader to whet their appetite and encourage them to seek out more books by these talented authors. A Piece of Passion from the Editor: "Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak." and from Malorie Blackman: "The stories in this anthology aren't all hearts and flowers. God forbid! I like my love stories to have a bit of spice and bite. These stories contain love lost, love found, the start of love, the end of love, love bitter and love sweet. I truly believe there is something in this anthology for everyone."
Shortlisted for the prestigious Sheffield Children's Book Award 2011 Best-selling author Malorie Blackman has an exceptional ability to see the world from a teenager’s angle. With his stellar A-level results in his hand, Dante has a great future mapped out for himself. But then his ex-girl friend turns up and Dante finds that he is… a dad! Blackman uses her trade mark of twin voices as Dante and his brother Adam unravel the stories from their pasts, their intense feelings for each other and their growing love for the baby. A deeply moving and convincing story which never descends into sentimentality.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 31 March 2011. Best selling Malorie Blackman delighted hundreds of thousands of readers with Noughts and Crosses, her thoughtful and touching story about love in a society riven by racial segregation. Here, movingly and sympathetically as ever, she writes a powerful, insightful and equally thought provoking story about a teenage boy coming to terms with his responsibilites as a young father. Her hero Dante is some of the things that the media would make out such a boy would be but he is much, much more besides and Malorie Blackman's tough and tender story will grip the hearts of all readers and make them think.
Fast-paced and terrifying The Stuff of Nightmares is about the demons lurking in ones past that come back to haunt. The reader is taken on a chilling journey as we follow schoolboy Kyle, whose terrible nightmares suddenly turn real and he is forced to face his fears. Malorie Blackmanâ€™s inspiration for the book was apparently from real nightmares that she has had in her lifetime. The book is very compelling in the creepy sense and even more so when read at nighttimes.
A powerful anthology of poetry and prose that allows the unheard voices of those subjected to slavery to reach out from the past to the present. Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, James Berry, Catherine Johnson and Grace Nichols are among the contributors and there are also contemporary stories taken from the long and shocking history of slavery.
At last the book to tie up the loose ends of the Noughts and Crosses trilogy and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in anyway. The originality of the plot is breathtaking and the characters superbly drawn. You’ll be gripped to the last.
A futuristic drama full of suspense from the UK Children's Laureate 2013-2015. Claire is keen to find out what her dad has been working on in his lab. He's been really excited about it and Claire knows it must be something that will make him even more famous. But the big reveal isn't at all what she expected and now Claire has a dilemma on her hands - what do you do when your dad has created a monster...? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
Malorie Blackman retells 'Bluebeard'. A Fairy Tale Revolution is here to remix and revive our favourite stories. These twists on familiar tales make the perfect Christmas gift. 'Please don't even try to get down to the basement. Just leave it alone - okay? Otherwise you'll ruin things for both of us...' Nia has met the man she wants to marry. Marcus is kind, clever and handsome, with a beard so dark it is nearly blue-black. Nia demands a single promise from him - that Marcus will never enter her study in the basement, her private space. But when Marcus's curiosity begins to mount Nia feels more and more uneasy. Will he betray her? Can he accept that no means no? Can a woman ever have a room of her own?
Sephy and Callum sit together on a beach. They are in love. It is forbidden. Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought. Between Noughts and Crosses there are racial and social divides. A segregated society teeters on a volatile knife-edge. As violence breaks out, Sephy and Callum draw closer, but this is a romance that will lead them into terrible danger. This gripping Romeo and Juliet story by acclaimed writer Malorie Blackman is a captivating drama of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world. Sabrina Mahfouz's stage adaptation first toured the UK in 2019 and won the Excellence in Touring category at the UK Theatre Awards. It was commissioned and presented by Pilot Theatre in co-production with Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre Colchester and York Theatre Royal.
Nominated for the Costa Children's Book Award 'The Noughts & Crosses series are still my favourite books of all time and showed me just how amazing story-telling could be' STORMZY 'Malorie's Noughts & Crosses series is the first time I saw myself in a book . . . they were pacey, exciting, rich. What Malorie Blackman has always done so brilliantly is put the minority front and centre, both in society and politics.' CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS 'The most original book I've ever read' BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH 'Malorie Blackman is absolutely amazing ... [Noughts & Crosses] really spoke to me, especially as a woman of dual heritage.' ZAWE ASHTON 'Crossfire is searing, political and furious. Malorie's world building is sublime and the way the Noughts & Crosses series holds a mirror up to society is unrivalled' JUNO DAWSON _____ Years have passed since the love between Sephy - a Cross - and Callum - a Nought - destroyed their world and changed their families and society forever. Society appears to be very different now. For the first time ever, a Nought Prime Minister - Tobey Durbridge - is in power. Race and class don't divide people anymore. But things are never really that easy. Because Tobey's just been framed for murder, and the only way to free himself is to turn to his oldest friend - Callie-Rose. Their families divisions run deep, and when two young people are kidnapped, their lives and everything they've fought for are put in the firing line. And when you're playing a game as dangerous as this one, it won't be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire... Crossfire is the long-awaited new novel in legendary author Malorie Blackman's ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series. 'Rich in moral and social issues, it is devastating about racial attitudes' THE SUNDAY TIMES, CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK 'It chillingly echoes the tempestuous taste of the world today while offering the intensity of a thriller' I NEWSPAPER
Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed. Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences, the everyday wisdom and poetry of the woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the hairdresser. Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class. Features original pieces from Damian Barr, Malorie Blackman, Lisa Blower, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Stuart Maconie, Chris McCrudden, Lisa McInerney, Paul McVeigh, Daljit Nagra, Dave O'Brien, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Anita Sethi, Tony Walsh, Alex Wheatle and more.
Ellie is the rudest, most spoilt child her grandma has ever met and it's time that she learnt a lesson! So with a little bit of magic and some help from Jolly the cat, Grandma's going to make sure that Ellie changes her ways. Can Ellie work hard to prove that she can be good? Or is she destined to spend the rest of her days trapped in the body of a mean old cat?Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+.
Although Sam has a long-term illness, all he wants is the chance to lead a normal life. So he is thrilled when he finally gets his mum and dad to let him go on the school trip to the Scottish Highlands. Sam's desperate for an adventure and wants to prove to everyone that he's just as strong as his friends. But when some of the boys from his class take a reckless risk in order to win a challenge, the trip turns out to be more dangerous than Sam could have imagined. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+.
Grandma Gertie is rather strange. With her big square glasses and a parrot on her hat, Anna and Kasper don't know what to make of her. But Grandma's got a secret... Grandpa Bert is a ghost and he's travelled all the way from Barbados squished inside her handbag! Even worse, they're being followed and Grandpa Bert could be in very grave danger... Can Anna and Kasper help their grandparents before it's too late? A hilarious family adventure filled with ghosts and laughs.
Michela knows the law - everyone must wear a Peace Maker device at all times, and it must never be tampered with. Non-aggression is her society's founding principle, and the Peace Maker the means by which is it enforced. But Michela is desperate to experience the full range of human emotions in her own fantasy world of books and games, and the Peace Maker is the only thing stopping her. And when her mother captains their ship into enemy airspace and they come under attack, it seems that Michela's freedom from the Peace Maker may be the only thing that can save them. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
The exciting tale of a stuffed superhero's good deeds, perfect for children learning to read. From award-winning author Malorie Blackman. Sinclair is no ordinary teddy bear. At night, when his owner Emily is fast asleep, he becomes a Wonder Bear, flying all over the world, and magically changing himself into new materials to save people in danger. One night, in India, France and Australia, he's a very busy bear indeed! The Reading Ladder series helps children to enjoy learning to read. It features well-loved authors, classic characters and favourite topics, so that children will find something to excite and engage them in every title they pick up. It's the first step towards a lasting love of reading. Level 2 Reading Ladder titles are perfect for readers who are growing in confidence and are beginning to enjoy longer stories. Clear type Up to 8 lines per page Bright, appealing pictures for added interest A variety of sentence structures A wider range of vocabulary Strong themes and characters to discuss All Reading Ladder titles are developed with a leading literacy consultant, making them perfect for use in schools and for parents keen to support their children's reading. Book band: Turquoise
An exciting futuristic drama about acceptance, trust and teamwork from an award-winning author. In a post-apocalyptic world where everyone wears Non-Contact suits to survive and where you can never touch another person directly, Cal and Jenna have formed a football team. Not virtual - real football, with real contact. But Jenna's horrible twin Jacob is suspicious and it looks like they're headed for disaster...Can the team reach out to Jacob and convince him that making contact is also what makes us feel alive? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 7+
Poor Fangs, the tarantula, is terribly lonely and bored with her life in the pet-shop. So when Nathan takes her home, she's more than excited about her new life. But before Nathan can introduce his new pet to his family, he's going to need her help to convince them that spiders aren't just creepy and crawly . . . They're beautiful and brave too! This funny story from the Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman, is perfect for building confidence in young readers - whether reading aloud or reading alone.
A hurricane is on it's way . . . And Betsey can't wait! Join her as she helps prepare for the storm, is entered into a very strange contest, and even attempts to eat a MONSTER hamburger in four fabulously funny adventures. This book is one of five collections featuring Betsey Biggalow from Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman. Beautifully illustrated by Jamie Smith, these stories are ideal for building confidence in young readers, whether reading aloud or alone.
Join Betsey, the little girl with big ideas, as she surprises everyone on her birthday, learns to be a guard dog, moves house and even becomes a TV star in these four warm and funny adventures. This book is one of five short story collections featuring Betsey from Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman, beautifully illustrated by Jamie Smith, and ideal for building confidence in young readers.
Betsey puts on a magic show but everyone is less than impressed with her tricks. No matter, in these four sweet and funny short stories, Betsey learns the importance of believing in yourself, that practise makes perfect, and that some magic is real . . . This book is one of five short story collections featuring Betsey Biggalow, from Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman. Beautifully illustrated by Jamie Smith, these warm and funny stories are ideal for building confidence in young readers, whether reading aloud or alone.
Betsey Biggalow is here! She may be small but she's full of bright and shiny ideas about new trainers, winning at marbles and even helping the world! Join Betsey on four short, sun-filled adventures as she learns you don't have to be big to make a big difference. This book is one of five short story collections featuring the lively and likeable Betsey Biggalow from Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman. Beautifully illustrated by Jamie Smith, these stories are ideal for building confidence in readers aged 7 and over, whether reading aloud or reading alone.