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Malorie Blackman

bame writers malorie blackman

Malorie Blackman is a British children’s author and scriptwriter. She is best known for her YA Noughts & Crosses book series, a popular work of speculative fiction set in the 21st century. Blackman writes for children of all ages and was recognised for her work when she was named Children’s Laureate for 2013 – 2015.

“What was it about the differences in others that scared some people so much?”

Malorie Blackman, Noughts & Crosses, 2001

Born in South London to Barbadian parents, Malorie Blackman was a diligent student who grew up to become a computer programmer. Despite this, her love of literature and the arts always remained. By 28, she published her first book Not So Stupid, a collection of horror and science-fiction short stories for young adults.

Since then, Blackman has published more than 60 children’s books from young adult fiction down to pre-school picture books. She is also a scriptwriter, having written for major TV series including BBC’s Doctor Who.

Nought & Crosses

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses book is currently being adapted for TV. The story is set in an alternative dystopian world where ‘noughts’, white people, are ruled over by ‘Crosses’, black people. Blackman uses this alternate history to discuss issues faced by her, present-day racism and microaggressions, as well as historical denigration and racial inequality. The TV adaption is a fantastic way to bring the books back to people as well as bring new readers to the books. It will be airing on the BBC at the end of the year and we cannot wait to see it.

A fan of the inspirational author since childhood, the British rapper Stormzy – who now owns his own Penguin publishing imprint #Merky Books will be publishing Malorie Blackman’s memoir, scheduled for 2020. Stormzy will also be starring in the Noughts and Crosses adaptation, so don’t forget to watch!

Why she inspires us

malorie blackman world of books

Malorie Blackman began her writing career with the will and drive to create black characters living their lives, going on adventures, and doing exciting things. There was a fundamental lack of black characters in children’s stories, and she knew that this had to be addressed. Her move into young adult fiction was spurred by a desire to address issues of racism directly in her work. Her books are now a popular choice for teens and adults alike, up and down the country, giving them relatable situations and/or insights in a world that is not entirely different from our own.

Malorie Blackman began her writing career with the will and drive to create black characters living their lives, going on adventures, and doing exciting things. There was a fundamental lack of black characters in children’s stories, and she knew that this had to be addressed. Her move into young adult fiction was spurred by a desire to address issues of racism directly in her work. Her books are now a popular choice for teens and adults alike, up and down the country. They give them relatable situations and/or insights in a world that is not entirely different from their own.

Blackman also works in schools and has petitioned for gender neutrality in book marketing, ensuring that no children’s books are listed ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys’. This is hugely important in ensuring literary is as inclusive as it can be. Malorie Blackman is an inspiration to us and helps to drive our mission to share the love of reading.

Check out our selection of books by BAME writers and browse Malorie Blackman books here.

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Have you read any Malorie Blackman books? Who are your favourite BAME children’s authors? Let us know in the comments below.

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