Malorie Blackman - Noughts and Crosses

Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and mounting terrorist violence, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…

ikvindlezenNIETleuk meer info over boek

Over het verhaal

‘Honestly, Mrs. Hadley,’ said Meggie McGregor, wiping her eyes. ‘That sense of humour of yours will be the death of me yet!’
Jasmine Hadley allowed herself a rare giggle. ‘The things I tell you, Meggie. It’s lucky we’re such good friends!’
Meggie’s smile wavered only slightly. She looked out across the vast lawn at Callum and Sephy. Her son and her employer’s daughter. They were good friends playing together. Real good friends. No barriers. No boundaries. Not yet anyway. it was a typical early summer’s day, light and bright and, in the Hadley household anyway, not a cloud in their sky.
‘Excuse me, Mrs Hadley.’ Sarah Pike, Mrs Hadley’s secretary, approached from the house. She had shoulder-lengt straw-coloured hair and timid green eyes which appeared permanently startled. ‘I’m sorry to disturb you but your husband has just arrived. He’s in the study.’
‘Kamal is here?’ mrs Hadley was astounded. ‘Thank you, Sarah.’ She turned to Meggie. ‘His fourth visit home in as many months! We’re honoured!’
meggie smiled sympathetically, making sure to keep her mouth well and truly shut. No way was she going to get in the middle of another inevitable squabble between Kamal Hadley and his wife. Mrs Hadley stood up and made her way into the house. (blz. 1 van 390)

Meggie werkt al jaren als huishoudster bij de familie Hadley. Op een dag wordt ze ontslagen, omdat ze niet meewerkt aan een alibi voor Jasmine Hadley.

I turned back to the sea. It shone like a shattered mirror, each fragment reflecting and dazzling. It never ceased to amaze me just how beautiful the sand and the sea and the gentle breeze on my face could be. My family’s private beach was my favourite place in the whole world. Kilometers of coastline that was all ours, with just a couple of signs declaring that it was private property and some old wooden fencing at each end, through which Callum and I had made a gap. And I was here with my favourite person. I turned to look at Callum. He was looking at me, the strangest expession on his face. (blz. 14)

Drie jaar geleden werd Meggie, Callums moeder, ontslagen. Sinds die tijd ontmoeten Callum en Sephy elkaar stiekem. Op een dag vertelt Callum dat hij zijn toelatingsexamen heeft gehaald en naar dezelfde school mag als Sephy. Sephy is dolblij, maar Callum is bang dat hij gepest gaat worden en dat de leraren hun best zullen doen om hem van school te krijgen. Sephy snapt niet waarom hij dat denkt.

‘Ready for school tomorrow, Callum?’ Dad said warmly, seemingly oblivious to the instant tension rising up around the table like razor wire.
‘It’ll be tough, son, but at least it’s a start. My son is going to Heathcroft High School. Imagine that!’ Dad took a deep breath, his chest actually puffing up with pride as he smiled at me.
‘I stil think he’s making a big mistake…’ Mum sniffed.
‘Well, I don’t.’ Dad’s smile vanished as he turned to Mum.
‘He doesn’t to go to their schools. We noughts should have our own schools with the same opportunities that the Crosses enjoy,’ Mum retored. ‘We don’t need to mix with them.’
‘What’s wrong with mixing?’ I asked, surprised.
‘It doesn’t work,’ Mum replied at once. ‘As long as the schools are run by Crosses, wel’ll allways be treated as second-class, second-best nothings. We should look after and educate our own, not wait for the Crosses to do it for us.’
‘You never used to believe that,’ said Dad.
‘I’m not as naïve as I used to be – if that’s what you mean,’ Mum replied.
I opened my mouth to speak but the words wouldn’t come. They were just a jumble in my head. If a Cross had said that to me, I’d be accusing them of all sorts. It seemed to me we’d practised segregation for centuries now and that hadn’t worked either. What would satisfy all the noughts and the Crosses who felt the same as Mum? Separate countries? Separate planets? How far away was far enough? What was it about the differences in others that scared people so much? (blz. 27)

Callums vader vind het geweldig dat Callum naar Heathcroft High School gaat, maar zijn moeder vind het minder leuk. Ze denkt dat hij beter op zijn eigen school had kunnen blijven. Ze denkt dat het beter is als noughts (blanke mensen zoals Callum) en Crosses (donkere mensen zoals Sephy) gescheiden leven. En ze is niet de enige die er zo over denkt…

As I approached the corner, shouts like an angry wave rolled up towards me. But even that couldn’t prepare me for what was about to happen next. I turned the corner and…
At the far end of the road, there was a huge crowd outside my school. And they were shouting and chanting. I froze for a moment, then started to walk towards them. Then I started to run. What on earth was going on? It didn’t take me long to find out.
The slogan was shouted out over and over again. Callum and three other noughts were surrounded by police officers who were trying to push their way through the crowd to get to the school entrance. More police stood in an arm-linked line trying to push the crowd of Crosses back into two orderly groups. I ran faster, but the closer I got, the less I could see. I pushed and elbowed my way through the crowd.
‘Callum! CALLUM!’
‘NO BLANKERS IN OUR SCHOOL…’br>The police officers were still trying tot push through the crowds of adults and Heathcroft pupils who in turn were determined not to let them pass.
I forced my way up the steps to the school entrance ahead of the crowd and the police, watching as the police battled to hold back the crowd, watching as Callum and the others looked neither to the right nor the left but straight ahead without even blinking.
I spotted Julianna and Adam and Ezra in the crowd, all of whom were my good friends. But worst of all I saw my own sister Minnie in the crowd. And she was shouting just as hard as all the others. (blz. 43)

Zal het Callum lukken om op school te blijven? Hoe gaat het met de vriendschap met Sephy? Kunnen zij op school laten merken dat ze vrienden zijn? Komen noughts en Crosses dichter bij elkaar of wordt de kloof tussen beide groepen juist groter?

Mening over het boek

Recensie van Ikvindlezenleuk (Mathilde) (ouder dan 18 jaar)
Hoe kom je aan het boek?
Zelf gekocht
Wat vind je van het boek?
Waarom heb je dit boek uitgekozen om te lezen?
Het boek heeft een mooie voorkant, Ik vond de tekst op de achterkant leuk
Welke steekwoorden passen bij het boek?
fascinerend, realistisch, romantisch, verrassend, zielig
Staan er illustraties in het boek? Wie heeft ze gemaakt? Wat vind je van de illustraties?
Is het boek moeilijk of gemakkelijk te lezen?
Waar gaat het verhaal over?
zie hierboven
Wie is de hoofdpersoon?
De hoofdpersonen zijn Sephy en Callum
Zou je iemand uit het verhaal willen ontmoeten? Waarom? En wat zou je dan gaan doen?
nee eigenlijk niet
Waar speelt het verhaal zich af?
het verhaal speelt zich af in Amerika
Wat vind je leuk aan dit boek?
ik vind het fascinerend om te lezen dat de maatschappij is omgedraaid
Wat vind je niet leuk aan dit boek?
ik vind het niet leuk dat er zoveel discriminatie voorkomt, maar ik vind het ook niet leuk dat dit in de werkelijkheid gebeurd
Wil je nog iets anders vertellen over het boek?
Dit is het eerste deel van een serie
Voor wie zou dit een leuk boek zijn?
Voor iedereen vanaf een jaar of 14 die houdt van realistische en romantische verhalen
Wil je het boek nog een keer lezen?
Ik wil het boek misschien nog een keer lezen, Ik wil andere boeken van deze schrijver lezen, Ik wil het volgende boek uit deze serie lezen