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(Noughts and Crosses #1.6)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,123 ratings  ·  71 reviews
In a hostile alternative society, the pale-skinned noughts are treated as inferiors by the ruling dark-skinned Crosses. Callum’s a nought. Sephy’s a Cross. In their world, they simply don’t fit – it’s as clear as black and white. But their childhood friendship has grown into intense, burning love. They have to find a way to be together. Then Sephy’s kidnapped, and Callum’s ...more
ebook, 61 pages
Published March 1st 2012
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,123 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jun 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
Kind of unnecessary, but also kind of cool to see what would have happened if he chose this path.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who have already read Noughts & Crosses and wonder if it could have ended differently.
Shelves: favorites
This short story tells us what might have happened if things had gone differently in Noughts & Crosses. However, it makes the series all the more tragic. I recommend reading this after reading Noughts & Crosses but be prepared to get emotional.

(view spoiler)
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Callum is a short story set during the time line of Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses that can be read for free via the World Book Day app from iTunes or purchased via Amazon for the Kindle.

I wouldn't recommend reading this if you haven't already read Noughts & Crosses as it tells the end of the story again but this time from Callum's perspective instead of Sephy's and therefore includes spoilers for anyone who hasn't read the original book. If you enjoyed the series you'll love reading Callu
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A short story, taking place from callum's perspective. I managed to get hold of it through the worldbook day app on my ipod. Can not wait to have it for my kindle next month.

It rewrites the story a little, from when callum and sephy are in the woods. I did enjoy it even if I wanted it to continue on and give me a more satisfying ending. Brought back a little nostagia from when i was a teenager and in love with the series.
Claire (Cem)
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So I haven't read this short story in many, many years. Maybe not since the year it came out. But I remember thinking when I first read it, that it didn't feel like Sephy and Callum to me.

Having just reread Noughts and Crosses and then picked this up, I can say it fit perfectly. It is a heartbreaking "what if" alternative ending to Noughts and Crosses, and it makes my head hurt to think of how it could have ended instead.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
As usual, Blackman's words grabbed me like magnet. The book is very short though, the second half of it is extracted from book #1!
But the story of Callum itself lacked a little of anticipation and was less "difficult-to-guess" like her other books.
Considering the shortness of the book, the lack of interesting the reader and having them on a hook, yet the good feeling it gives while reading; I'll skip rating it.
Lotte Van Herreweghe
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
And here I was thinking I'd get my happy end.... ...more
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh Callum.

An interesting perspective and alternative to the final events of Noughts and Crosses.

Reading Callum softened how I felt after reading Noughts and Crosses.
Lisa Bentley
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Callum is the short story that shows us more of Sephy and Callum’s final moments together. Following on from Noughts and Crosses we get access to the more intimate moments between the pair and we see how they used to be together before all the social politics and racism got in the way. 

This short story reminded me of the scene in Romeo and Juliet when they consulate their marriage and then have to part. It is the last time that they see each other alive. It is similar for Sephy and Callum. Sephy
Ciaran Mills
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Although an interesting alternative to the end of Noughts and Crosses, I do not feel that this short story particularly adds anything to the original tale. As well as that, the original is a much better ending in my opinion.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
but I could never hate this story, it will always hold a special place in my heart. it really makes you think you know, what if?
also this alternative world would never happen, to be honest it was really unnecessary, the real ending was much more realistic which I loved about Noughts and Crosses. it was very realistic but truly heartbreaking.
Amrita Desmet
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: grade-8, fast-reads
This was an easy read since it was so short but the reason I only gave it a 3 stars was because it felt unfinished and I would have liked to know what happened. This short story is a written from Callum's perspective and it wasn't related to the real Noughts and Crosses story. It was a 'what if' kind of story. ...more
Emily V
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Really interesting, made me wish Malorie would write another book for the series. I miss it.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What if Callum and Sephy ran away together? What if they ran as far as they could and Sephy didn't have to choose between her child and her lover? What if...? ...more
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Romaticly Amazing, this book is the b-side to what could have happened when sephy was kidnapped however is freed by callum.
Gerda Jongsma
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
This alternative short story, which I read directly after reading part 1, somehow undid the strong ending of Noughts & Crosses. I wish I hadn't read it, especially not so soon after reading the first part. ...more
Cat Hall
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting to say the least, it quite a few moments of being unable to fully believe what was happening and then from there it went to this could have been another way to end the first book but don't think that would have worked as well!! I still love Callum so much ...more
Chanel Lindsay
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I must admit, I was really into this short story... I didn't want it to end! I was rather disappointed that I don't get to know more of the alternative story.
I just love these characters and am looking forward to continuing on with this book series!
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I got this as an extra in my edition of "Noughts & Crosses" and didn't really like it particularly. ...more
Maddy dooner
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Noughts and crosses is one of my all time favourite series, so to get a more from Callum was just amazing.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was okay still I prefer the original ending.
Unnecessary and distressing. I didn't like this at all. ...more
Alice Nuttall
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great installment in a fantastic series.
Shoohada Khanom
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the whole series.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This should have been the original ending. I need more of it 😂
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a way to see how it would end if Callum had chosen a different path! Certainly not what I expected at all!
Shaneka Knight
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 kind of unnecessary, but interesting nonetheless,
Bella Dunne
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
4⭐️ interesting to see what could of been but ultimately shows that Callum and steph were always faulted
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
After loving the alternate point of views from Noughts & Crosses, it was odd to read from just Callum’s point of view. I don’t think this book adds anything to the series. It featured less emotive quotes and the moments of discrimination against Callum which were the standout parts of the first book for me weren’t there in this book.
Also it felt like the same story but in a different location, although I understand that’s probably showing that no matter the path chosen their story will never en
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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

Other books in the series

Noughts and Crosses (5 books)
  • Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)
  • Knife Edge (Noughts & Crosses, #2)
  • Checkmate (Noughts & Crosses, #3)
  • Double Cross (Noughts & Crosses, #4)
  • Crossfire (Noughts & Crosses, #5)

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“You’re not fifteen any more. You’re not the idealistic kid who thought that, deep down, somewhere, somehow, in some way, life had to be fair.”
— Callum McGregor”
“I can’t stop thinking about what might have been… I can’t stop imagining the two of us together. My body burns at the thought of it. Sephy and I might’ve been together for ever.”
— Callum McGregor”
More quotes…