When putting together a summer reading list, it is easy to concentrate on recently published books – the Noughts and Crosses series was first published in 2006. Almost ten years ago! However, it remains relevant and remarkable – a series that I would encourage all teens to read. It has a wide appeal – action, adventure, romance, racism, family drama – and it is compelling, even addictive. The three books reviewed here does not include the second book in the series – Knife Edge. They are not a difficult read but they do cover some tough topics and the books are therefore more appropriate for teens aged 13+.
Book 1 Noughts and Crosses: Sephy is a Cross and therefore a member of the ruling dark-skinned class whilst Callum is a nought and a member of the white underclass. Their friendship and growing romance struggles to survive against a background of racism, hate and terrorism.
It’s hard to put this book down. A powerful mix of adventure, romance, mystery and im
agination explores racism. An excellent read which leaves you wanting more.
Book 3 Checkmate: Worthy sequel to Noughts and Crosses. The difficulties of the past weigh heavily on the present and racial discrimination, though less blatant, still destroys and holds back lives.
A mix of adventure, teen romance and family drama. A fascinating read that also makes you think hard about
Book 4 Double Cross: The book follows the lives of Callie Rose and Tobey as they grow up and deal with the fallout of the events in Checkmate. The story plays out against a background of continuing
discrimination although the story line concentrates on the power and destruction of local gangsters.
A good story l
ine that makes you question how societies work, although perhaps less captivating than the previous two books in the series.