Knife Edge

( 11 )

Overview

This thought-provoking and often provocative look at racism is a sequel to the award-winning Noughts & Crosses.

For fourteen years, Sephy, a singer, struggles to raise her mixed-race child in an apartheid society, telling Callie Rose very little about her father, and trying to make her mark in the music business where she also has to deal with prejudice. But suddenly and dramatically, Callie discovers the truth about her parentage -- that ...
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Overview

This thought-provoking and often provocative look at racism is a sequel to the award-winning Noughts & Crosses.

For fourteen years, Sephy, a singer, struggles to raise her mixed-race child in an apartheid society, telling Callie Rose very little about her father, and trying to make her mark in the music business where she also has to deal with prejudice. But suddenly and dramatically, Callie discovers the truth about her parentage -- that her father, Callum, was hanged for terrorism! Can mother and daughter heal the rift that now opens between them? And can Callie ignore the pain of the past as she takes her own steps towards her future? This is a riveting and page-turning novel for ages twelve and up that will confirm Malorie Blackman's status as one of today's top authors for young readers.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Roxy Ekstrom
The Black and White Trilogy continues here with Blackman's highly segregated British society strictly divided by color lines, and most Crosses prefer it that way. The black Crosses have the money, education, and power, whereas the white Naughts are relegated to menial jobs and inferior educations. Sephy, a privileged Cross and teenage daughter of the Deputy Prime Minister, is pregnant by Callum MacGregor, a member of the Naught Liberation Militia. At the end of the first book, Naughts and Crosses (Simon & Schuster, 2005/VOYA August 2005), Callum has been convicted and hanged as a terrorist. Sephy, pregnant and living alone in a white slum, estranged from her family, is being stalked by Jude, Callum's brother. Brief alternating chapters detail Jude's growing terrorist hatred as a Liberation Militia cell leader, a bitter man with a blazing hatred of all Crosses. Out for revenge and wanting Sephy dead, he kills a Cross woman who loves and trusts him. Sephy's downward spiral is fueled by her racist society. After Callie Rose's birth, Sephy moves in with Callum and Jude's mother, Meggie MacGregor. Despised by the Crosses and loathed by Naughts, she belongs nowhere. A letter, ostensibly from Callum, delivered posthumously by a prison guard, almost sends her over the edge. As her life distintegrates, she tries to take Callie with her. A cliffhanger ending will have readers anxiously waiting for the third book in this trilogy. The short, alternating first-person chapters immediately draw the reader into the story. It is not absolutely necessary to have read the first novel as flashbacks and newspaper articles bring the reader up to speed. With not quite as strong a story line as the first,enough terrorist rage, racial tension, sorrow, and joy nevertheless keeps the reader on an emotional roller coaster. There is also plenty of material here for good discussions on contemporary issues.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
In this sequel to Naughts and Crosses (S & S, 2005), Persephone (Sephy) Hadley, now an 18-year-old single parent, is raising her biracial daughter in a sharply divided alternate England, where black Crosses suppress the white Naughts. She faces pressure from both her less-than-understanding Cross family and her disintegrating Naught family, and everyone in between. When her brother-in-law's violent behavior leads to murder, Sephy provides a false alibi to save Jude, but doing so irreparably damages other lives. Second in Blackman's trilogy, this work presents similar themes with the same lack of subtlety that dominated the first work; Blackman's approach to communicating racism is to change instances of black disenfranchisement to white. The most popular white rocker is actually black; white performers must use the back doors to enter venues; popular desserts have racist names. Such a heavy hand leaves readers alienated from the dark history of racism. Jude and Sephy dominate the narrative, though occasionally other voices are included. Stiff language and murky motivation hamper the thin characters from generating emotional suspense. Jacqueline Woodson's If You Come Softly (Putnam, 1998) and Trudy B. Krisher's Spite Fences (Random, 1994) address similar issues, but with rich characters and taut feeling. Strictly for libraries in which the first book is in high demand.
—Chris ShoemakerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Sephy is alone and pregnant living in an apartheid state. Her own father had her light-skinned lover Callum executed, and she's despised by Callum's brother Jude. In this racist society, where black-skinned Crosses subject white-skinned naughts to crushing racial prejudice, Sephy stands in a dangerous middle ground. She wants to raise her child in peace, but both naughts and Crosses condemn her, and Jude wants to exact revenge. Both Sephy and Jude cross race borders in their quests, Sephy joining a naught rock band and Jude romancing a liberal-minded Cross woman. As in Black and White (2005), the ideological message is heavy handed, somewhat shallow and inconsistent: Mixed-race children are either extremely rare, or common only on society's margins; naughts claim a unique vernacular which is never used in the text; a Cross woman is portrayed as remarkably kind and intelligent with no exploration of how wealth and privilege make such traits easier to come by. The personal tragedies of Sephy and Jude's lives in a broken world, however, are rich and genuine. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
“Relentless in its pace and power. . . devastatingly powerful.”
Guardian

Praise for Noughts & Crosses:
“An incredible novel that is as heart-rending as it is provocative.” -- The Bookseller

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416900184
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/24/2007
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 380,781
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Malorie Blackman pursued computer science before becoming a full-time writer. She gained phenomenal success with her first book, Hacker, which won two major UK children's awards, and has gone on to write a number of other award-winning children's books. An avid reader, musician, cineaste, and Net surfer in her spare time, Malorie lives in South London with her husband and their daughter, Elizabeth.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    I can't believe this isn't available on nook. Why make the firs

    I can't believe this isn't available on nook. Why make the first available but not the second. Seriously?

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    It's a disturbing world where blacks, the Crosses, are the over-privileged, and whites, the Noughts, are treated as unequal.

    Sephy is a Nought who is also the mother of Callie Rose. Her husband, Callum, was a Cross but was murdered for taking part in the Liberation Militia. Then there is Jude, Callum's brother, the one person who is blaming Sephy for the death of his brother. However, Callum's mother isn't holding a grudge against Sephy.

    The one thing on Jude's mind is to get revenge for his brother. And his first step is to get rid of Sephy.

    Along the way both Jude and Sephy fall in love with other people: one to get access to money, while the other is just in contempt. But also along the way, both of their lives become even more complex, and even more damaged.

    One will be helped, one will be betrayed, and only one will be overwhelmed by their current distress and do the unthinkable.

    Dark, emotional, and extremely alarming, KNIFE EDGE gets us an inside look at a world separated by color and where hatred and violence flourishes. A great follow-up to NOUGHTS & CROSSES (re-released in paperback as BLACK & WHITE), Malorie Blackman continues to entice us with even more drama.

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Better than Twilight

    Malorie Blackman's work are fantastic. She takes you into the minds of all the characters from telling chapters from different people's point of view. THere is very a dull moment with these book,s they are impossible to put and yes i understand that they can be hard to find, but when you do, they are totally worth it!! <BR/>PLEASE get this book, I know you'll enjoy it and want to give it to all your friends!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2007

    Great Book

    after reading noughts and crosses i just had to read the next one.i just finished reading knife edge and it is great i couldnt put it down the book leaves you wanting more and you cant wait to read the next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    loved it

    i loved this book it was thrilling and jude my favie,so sad the callum had died but i think sephy is so stong the best book ever...!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2007

    Very Depressing

    Just when you think this book can't get any more depressing it does. The main character's life goes from bad to worse to worst. I wonder how an author can make over three hundred pages of complete tragedy.

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    Posted August 3, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2010

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    Posted June 22, 2011

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    Posted September 7, 2009

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    Posted December 24, 2008

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