Malorie Blackman has taken a common game for kids to another level, the level where it resembles the current world.

Noughts and Crosses or Tic-Tac-Toe supposed to be a fun and logical game for children but now, in this Carnegie-Medal-winning sequel, it’s different.

The story opens with Sephy, more formally known as Persephone Hadley; she was a Cross (darker-skinned people) and the daughter of the Prime Minister, Kamal Hadley.

Her life was seen as perfect: a ginormous mansion, personal maids and chauffeur, and a huge fortune. But she is lonely and confused about the injustice around her.

Since she was young, she made friends with Callum McGregor, who is the son of her previous Nought nanny, Jasmine McGregor. Callum was a Noughts: lighter skin and poor family. Noughts like Callum and his family were considered as nothing and unworthy.

However, Callum was different, he dreams of a better future where everyone is treated equally. Sephy and Callum were close friends, despite the border between the two races.

Things started to go downhill when Callum attended Heathcroft, the prestigious Cross school. He was hated by everyone in high school, except for Sephy. Despite Sephy’s all-out effort, Callum still feels isolated and from that moment on, he grows hateful of Crosses.

To make matter worse, Callum’s sister, Lynette McGregor committed suicide by throwing herself in front of the bus, because of society’s fierce rejection for her Nought self and her Cross boyfriend. This horrible event put the end to the happy and innocent mind of Sephy, because now, she finally understands how society works and how Noughts and Crosses shouldn’t be seen with each other.

Callum’s once poor but cozy family crumble right in front of his bare eyes. His dad, Ryan McGregor was killed by the electric fence after escaping public hanging; for his crime of bombing Dundale Shopping Centre as a mission of the Liberation Militia, an underground society that goes against Crosses rules.

Callum’s chaotic older brother, Jude ran away from home, close any contact with his family members in order to fully concentrate on his LM tasks.

Years passed, Sephy returned to her hometown after attending Chivers, a faraway boarding school. She has officially ended her relationships with Callum after he joined LM.

Sephy has had feelings for Callum since the two of them started Heathcroft and when returning to her house after some time attending Chivers, she had hope for something more from Callum when she receives his letter. But it was his mission to capture her for the Liberation Militia’s business.

Her prime minister father, Kamal Hadley was blackmailed for his daughter’s freedom. While Sephy was in jail, Callum realizes his deep feelings for Sephy. It’s burning inside him so in a matter of seconds, they made love.

This made McGregor change his mind; so he helps Sephy escape from the LM’s capture. They keep their love a secret and decide to meet back at Callum’s birthday.

Despite the community’s rejection, Sephy and Callum still move forward steadily. Sephy strongly declines offers for her abortion and turns down any rumors about her being raped by Callum.

This fierce couple wants to keep their baby and keep their heads up for a brighter future.


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