Malorie Blackman

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Malorie Blackman

Goodreads Author

in London, The United Kingdom
February 08



Member Since
July 2012

An award-winning children's author, Malorie Blackman was honoured with an OBE in 2008. Her work has been adapted for TV and stage.

More information available at:
British Council: Contemporary Authors
British Council: Encompass Culture
Channel 4 Learning: Book Box

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Popular Answered Questions

Malorie Blackman Read! Read as widely as possible, as many different authors and genres as possible. Write in your own style and with your own voice. Try to write regu…moreRead! Read as widely as possible, as many different authors and genres as possible. Write in your own style and with your own voice. Try to write regularly, ideally every day. And don't give up.(less)
Malorie Blackman In my final scene, Cassio, who is now in charge, tries one last time to get Iago to say why he caused the deaths of so many innocent people.

In my final scene, Cassio, who is now in charge, tries one last time to get Iago to say why he caused the deaths of so many innocent people.

Thy hands and thy feet, they shalt be shackled,
Knave, thou art to be pulled upon the rack
Till thy skin tears and thy bones crack.
The power to forestall such grim torments
Lies within thine own grasp, if thou wouldst but admit
The why of thy sins and freely repent…

Iago howls… with laughter.

My book Chasing the Stars was inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, so I have chosen to add a scene to the end of that play. I had to study Othello as one of my A Level set texts many moons ago, and it has since become one of my favourite Shakespeare plays.

My scene above takes place at the very end of the play, when Othello, Desdemona, Roderigo and Emilia are all dead – thanks to Iago. Once he realises how he’d been duped, Othello is desperate to know why Iago did it? Iago answers:

‘Demand me nothing. What you know, you know.
From this time forth I never will speak word.’

Iago is warned that ‘Torments will ope thy lips.’ He’s going to be tortured for what he’s done. My scene above shows Cassio, who has taken over after Othello’s death, still trying to get Iago to at least apologise for what he did. Iago, though in pain, laughs in Cassio’s face. I don’t believe Iago is a man to feel remorse for what he has done or to explain himself. The scene I wrote above expresses that.

Can a person be truly one hundred per cent evil? I believe Iago comes close.
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All 6 episodes of Noughts & Crosses available to binge!

Loving Noughts & Crosses? All 6 episodes are available to binge on BBC iplayer. But...
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More of Malorie's books…
“Just remember, Callum when you’re floating up and up in your bubble, that bubbles have a habit of bursting. The higher you climb, the further you have to fall.”
Malorie Blackman, Noughts & Crosses

“That just the way it is. Some things will never change. That's just the way it is. But don't you believe them.”
Malorie Blackman, Noughts & Crosses

“I used to comfort myself with the belief that it was only certain individuals and their peculiar notions that spoilt things for the rest of us. But how many individuals does it take before it's not the individuals who are prejudiced but society itself?”
Malorie Blackman, Noughts & Crosses


Vote for the August YA Poll, celebrating minority authors!

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) by Elizabeth Lim by Elizabeth Lim

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
  18 votes, 22.2%

Internment by Samira Ahmed by Samira Ahmed

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.
  13 votes, 16.0%

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems
  12 votes, 14.8%

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson by Jacqueline Woodson

Running into a long-ago friend sets memories from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.

But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
  8 votes, 9.9%

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1) by Roseanne A. Brown by Roseanne A. Brown

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?
  8 votes, 9.9%

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1) by Lori M. Lee by Lori M. Lee

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.
  7 votes, 8.6%

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1) by Malorie Blackman by Malorie Blackman

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

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. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum -- a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?
  6 votes, 7.4%

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal by Hafsah Faizal

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands
  5 votes, 6.2%

A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi
  4 votes, 4.9%


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