Malorie Blackman on stage at the Wimbledon BookFest was one of the best author events ever! Considering her fame and distinguished career (she is the author of seventy books and was the first ever black Children’s Laureate), she came across as warm and unpretentious, answering questions with candour and humour. She explained how Noughts & Crosses grew into a series as she needed to continue the characters’ stories, and how different readers worldwide have related its theme to their own situations, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict for example.
It was disturbing to hear of her lived experience as a young black person, being told by a careers advisor that “black people don’t study English Literature and become teachers”, but that she could be a secretary. And to hear of insults suffered in the street when she walked with her mixed race daughter. These outrages remind us of the importance of Black History Month, which we celebrate in October.
The event included a sneak preview of the new B.B.C. adaptation of Noughts & Crosses, and every year 9 child attending received a copy of the latest book in the series, Cross Fire. But this won’t be the last we hear about Sephy and Callum. One more book will follow and will be called End Game.
The Library is again celebrating Black History Month with a great range of reading. Children are being encouraged to read from our Black History Month display, which features many new and topical books. They should give us some feedback on the book within 7 days of borrowing it to gain reward points. More information is available in the Library. To see some of the books in our display, follow the link here. Please note, some of the books are labelled with a red star indicating they are suitable for older children only.