Malorie Blackman is the current British Children’s Laureate. She has written more than 60 childrens books, written scripts for Byker Grove as well as having two of her books turned into TV adaptations. Books such as Hacker, Pig Heart Boy and Whizziwig have captured the imaginations of children all over the world, as her books have been translated into many different languages including German, Japanese, Spanish and French.
Her 2001 book and series Noughts & Crosses, has won her 10 awards including the 2003 Wirral Paperback of the Year and 2004 Fantastic Fiction awards. Noughts & Crosses was also voted No.61 on the 2003 Big Read list, gathering more votes than A Tale of Two Cities and Lord of the Flies. It was also one of 23 books handed out in the UK for World Book Night in 2013. The book series itself, centers on an alternative history where Africans, not Europeans are the dominant force in the world. This world includes a quasi Jim Crow segregation laws, and a world still in Pangaea (before individual continents broke up and separated). One of the main protagonists Sephy Hadley is a Cross (dark-skinned), and her best friend is Callum McGregor who is a Nought and light-skinned. The relationship is frowned up in the same way that pre 1960 interracial relationships were, just in reverse. She encourages racial dialogue by not only the content of her books, but the front covers often feature Black children. I remember reading Hacker when I was younger, and was able to identify with the chracters more than I ever had before. As young as I was, seeing a Black face on a book was just that little bit more special, compared to other books written by Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Terry Pratchett