Malorie Blackman OBE (born 8 February 1962) is a British writer who held the position of Children's Laureate from 2013 to 2015. She primarily writes literature and television drama for children and young adults. She has used science fiction to explore social and ethical issues. Her critically and popularly acclaimed Noughts and Crosses series uses the setting of a fictional dystopia to explore racism.
Malorie Blackman OBE
8 February 1962
Clapham, London, England
|Genre||Children's literature, science fiction, mystery, thriller and horror; poetry|
Blackman was born in Clapham, London. Her parents were both from Barbados. At school, she wanted to be an English teacher, but she grew up to become a systems programmer instead. She earned an HNC at Thames Polytechnic and is a graduate of the National Film and Television School.
She married Neil in the 1990s and their daughter, Elizabeth Blackman, was born in 1995.
Blackman's first book was Not So Stupid, a collection of horror and science fiction stories for young adults, published in November 1990. Ever since, she has written more than 60 children's books, including novels and short story collections, and also television scripts and a stage play.
Her work has won over 15 awards. Blackman's television scripts include episodes of the long-running children's drama Byker Grove as well as television adaptations of her novels Whizziwig and Pig-Heart Boy. Her books have been translated into over 15 languages including Spanish, Welsh, German, Japanese, Chinese and French.
Blackman's award-winning Noughts & Crosses series, exploring love, racism and violence, is set in a fictional dystopia. Explaining her choice of title, in a 2007 interview for the BBC's Blast website, Blackman said that noughts and crosses is "one of those games that nobody ever plays after childhood, because nobody ever wins". In an interview for The Times, Blackman said that before writing Noughts & Crosses, her protagonists' ethnicities had never been central to the plots of her books. She has also said, "I wanted to show black children just getting on with their lives, having adventures, and solving their dilemmas, like the characters in all the books I read as a child."
Blackman eventually decided to address racism directly. She reused some details from her own experience, including an occasion when she needed a plaster and found they were designed to be inconspicuous only on white people's skin. The Times interviewer Amanda Craig speculated about the delay for the Noughts & Crosses series to be published in the United States: "though there was considerable interest, 9/11 killed off the possibility of publishing any book describing what might drive someone to become a terrorist". Noughts and Crosses is now available in the US published under the title Black & White (Simon & Schuster Publishers, 2005).
Noughts & Crosses was No. 61 on the Big Read list, a 2003 BBC survey to find "The Nation's Best-Loved Book", with more votes than A Tale of Two Cities, several Terry Pratchett novels and Lord of the Flies.
Malorie Blackman lives with her husband Neil and daughter Elizabeth in Kent, England. In her free time, she likes to play her piano, compose, play computer games and write poetry. She is the subject of a biography for children by Verna Wilkins.
In August 2014, Malorie Blackman was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
Novels for young adultsEdit
- Not So Stupid!: Incredible Short Stories, The Women's Press, 1990, ISBN 0-7043-4924-8
- Trust Me, Livewire, 1992, ISBN 0-7043-4931-0. Corgi Children's, 2013, ISBN 0-552-56847-3
- Words Last Forever, Mammoth, 1998, ISBN 0-7497-2983-X
- The Noughts & Crosses series:
- 'The Stuff of Nightmares, Doubleday, 2007, ISBN 0-385-61043-2
- Boys Don't Cry, Doubleday Children's, 2010. Corgi Children's, 2011, ISBN 0-552-54862-6
- Unheard Voices: An Anthology of Stories and Poems to Commemorate the Bicentenary Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, ed. Malorie Blackman, Corgi Children's, 2007, ISBN 0-552-55600-9
- Noble Conflict, Doubleday Children's, 2013, ISBN 0-385-61042-4
Short stories for young adultsEdit
- "Humming Through My Fingers" in the multi-author collection Shining on: A Collection of Stories in Aid of the Teen Cancer Trust, Picadilly Press, 2006, ISBN 1-85340-893-X
- Short story in the multi-author collection The Crew and Other Teen Fiction, Heinemann Library, ISBN 0-431-01875-8
Novels for childrenEdit
- Hacker, Doubleday, 1992, ISBN 0-385-40278-3
- Operation Gadgetman!, Doubleday, 1993, ISBN 0-385-40337-2
- Jack Sweettooth the 73rd, Viking Children's Books, 1995, ISBN 0-670-85539-1
- The Space Stowaway, Ginn, 1995, ISBN 0-602-26393-X
- Whizziwig (illustrated by Stephen Lee), Viking Children's Books, 1995, ISBN 0-670-85705-X
- Thief!, Doubleday, 1996, ISBN 0-552-52808-0
- A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E, Doubleday, 1997, ISBN 0-552-52839-0
- Pig Heart Boy, Doubleday, 1997, ISBN 0-385-40681-9
- Animal Avengers (illustrated by Bill Greenhead and Stik), Mammoth, 1999, ISBN 0-7497-3557-0
- Dangerous Reality, Doubleday, 1999, ISBN 0-385-40680-0
- Don't Be Afraid (illustrated by Bob Harvey), Ginn, 1999, ISBN 0-602-27549-0
- Forbidden Game, Puffin Books, 1999, ISBN 0-14-130321-2
- Hostage (illustrated by Derek Brazell), Barrington Stoke, 1999, ISBN 1-902260-12-0
- Tell Me No Lies, Macmillan Children's Books, 1999, ISBN 0-333-72645-6
- Whizziwig Returns (illustrated by Stephen Lee), Puffin, 1999, ISBN 0-14-130458-8
- Dead Gorgeous, Doubleday, 2002, ISBN 0-385-60009-7
- Cloud Busting, Doubleday, 2004, ISBN 0-385-60796-2
- The Deadly Dare Mysteries (contents: Deadly Dare, Computer Ghost, Lie Detectives; illustrated by Neil Chapman), Corgi Children's, 2005, ISBN 0-552-55353-0
- Whizziwig and Whizziwig Returns (illustrated by Stephen Lee), Corgi Children's, 2005, ISBN 0-440-86657-X
- Doctor Who: The Ripple Effect, Puffin, 2013 
Short stories for childrenEdit
- "Contact" in the multi-author collection Out of This World: Stories of Virtual Reality (chosen by Wendy Cooling), Dolphin, 1997, ISBN 1-85881-602-5
- Aesop's Fables (retold by Malorie Blackman, illustrated by Patrice Aggs), Scholastic, 1998, ISBN 0-590-54382-2
- "Dare to be Different" (illustrated by Jane Ray) in the multi-author collection Dare to be Different, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1999, ISBN 0-7475-4021-7
- "Peacemaker" in the multi-author collection Peacemaker and Other Stories (illustrated by Peter Richardson and David Hine), Heinemann Educational, 1999, ISBN 0-435-11600-2
Books for new readersEdit
- The Betsey Biggalow stories:
- Betsey Biggalow the Detective (illustrated by Lis Toft), Piccadilly Press, 1992, ISBN 1-85340-163-3
- Betsey Biggalow is Here! (illustrated by Lis Toft), Piccadilly Press, 1992, ISBN 1-85340-172-2
- Hurricane Betsey (illustrated by Lis Toft), Piccadilly Press, 1993, ISBN 1-85340-199-4
- Magic Betsey (illustrated by Lis Toft), Piccadilly Press, 1994, ISBN 1-85340-237-0
- Betsey's Birthday Surprise (illustrated by Lis Toft), Piccadilly Press, 1996, ISBN 0-590-55864-1
- The Girl Wonder series:
- Girl Wonder and the Terrific Twins (illustrated by Pat Ludlow), Orion Children's Books, 1991, ISBN 0-575-05048-9
- Girl Wonder's Winter Adventures (illustrated by Lis Toft), Orion Children's Books, 1992, ISBN 0-575-05383-6
- Girl Wonder to the Rescue (illustrated by Lis Toft), Gollancz, 1994, ISBN 0-575-05774-2
- The Amazing Adventures of Girl Wonder (illustrated by Lis Toft), Barn Owl Books, 2003, ISBN 1-903015-27-8
- The Puzzle Planet adventures:
- Peril on Planet Pellia (illustrated by Patrice Aggs), Orchard Books, 1996, ISBN 1-85213-935-8
- The Mellion Moon Mystery (illustrated by Patrice Aggs), Orchard Books, 1996, ISBN 1-85213-936-6
- The Secret of the Terrible Hand (illustrated by Patrice Aggs), Orchard Books, 1996, ISBN 1-86039-370-5
- Quasar Quartz Quest (illustrated by Patrice Aggs) Orchard Books, 1996, ISBN 1-85213-938-2
- The Longman Book Project (with translations to Welsh):
- Elaine You're a Brat!  (illustrated by Doffy Weir), Orchard Books, 1991, ISBN 1-85213-365-1
- My Friend's a Gris-Quok (illustrated by Philip Hopman), Scholastic, 1994, ISBN 0-590-55864-1
- Grandma Gertie's Haunted Handbag (illustrated by David Price), Heinemann, 1996, ISBN 0-434-97225-8
- Space Race (illustrated by Colin Mier), Corgi Children's, 1997, ISBN 0-552-54542-2
- Fangs (illustrated by Tony Blundell), Orchard Books, 1998, ISBN 1-86039-734-4
- Snow Dog (illustrated by Sabrina Good), Corgi Children's, 2001, ISBN 0-552-54703-4
- The Monster Crisp-Guzzler (illustrated by Saynab Abdalla), Corgi Children's, 2002, ISBN 0-552-54783-2
- Sinclair, Wonder Bear (illustrated by Deborah Allwright), Egmont Books, 2003, ISBN 1-4052-0589-X
- That New Dress  (illustrated by Rhian Nest James), Hodder Wayland, 1991, ISBN 0-7500-0442-8
- Mrs Spoon's Family (illustrated by Jan McCafferty), Andersen Press, 1995, ISBN 0-86264-582-4
- Dizzy's Walk (illustrated by Pamela Venus), Tamarind, 1999, ISBN 1-870516-41-9
- Marty Monster (illustrated by Kim Harley), Tamarind, 1999, ISBN 1-870516-42-7
- I Want a Cuddle! (illustrated by Joanne Partis), Orchard Books, 2001, ISBN 1-84121-823-5
- Jessica Strange (with Alison Bartlett), Hodder Children's Books, 2002, ISBN 0-340-77963-2
- Contributed to A Christmas Tree of Stories, Scholastic Press, 1999, ISBN 0-439-01192-2
- Episodes of Byker Grove
- Episodes of Whizziwig
- Episodes of Pig Heart Boy
- Episode of Doctor Who — "Rosa" (2018), co-writtten with Chris Chibnall
- The Amazing Rob The Mechanic
- Noughts and Crosses
- Noughts and Crosses
Awards and nominationsEdit
Body of workEdit
- 1997, Excelle/Write Thing Children's Author of the Year Award.
- 2005, Children's Book Circle's Eleanor Farjeon Award.
- 2013, The Kitschies Black Tentacle for "outstanding achievement in encouraging and elevating the conversation around genre literature"
For Hacker (1995)Edit
- 1994, W.H. Smith Mind Boggling Book of the Year Award.
- 1994, Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Children's Book of the Year Award.
- 1995, Birmingham/TSB Children's Book Award (shortlist).
For A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E (1997)Edit
- 1997, Stockport Children's Book of the Year Award (Key Stage 3 category).
- 1997, Stockton-on-Tees Children's Book Award (shortlisted).
- 1998, Sheffield Children's Book Award (highly commended).
- 2001, Stockport Schools Book Award (shortlisted).
For Pig-Heart Boy (1997)Edit
- 1998, Carnegie Medal (shortlist).
- 1998, UKRA Award.
- 1999, Lancashire Children's Book of the Year (shortlist).
- 1999, Wirral Paperback of the Year Award.
For Tell Me No Lies (1999)Edit
For Dead Gorgeous (2002)Edit
- 2003, Calderdale Book of the Year (shortlist).
- 2003, Salford Children's Book Award (shortlist).
For books in the Noughts & Crosses seriesEdit
- 2002, Lancashire Children's Book of the Year.
- 2002, Red House Children's Book Award.
- 2002, Sheffield Children's Book Award.
- 2003, Wirral Paperback of the Year Award.
- 2004, Fantastic Fiction Award.
- 2005, Berkshire Book Award (shortlist).
- 2005, Lancashire Children's Book of the Year (shortlist).
- 2005, Redbridge Teenage Book Award (shortlist).
- 2006, Lancashire Children's Book of the Year (shortlist).
- 2006, Staffordshire Young People's Book of the Year.
For Cloud Busting (2004)Edit
- 2004, Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Silver Award) (6–8 years category).
- 2005, Redbridge Children's Book Award (shortlist).
- 2005, Stockport Schools Book Award (shortlisted).
- 2006, Nottingham Children's Book Award (shortlist) (10–11 years category).
- 2006, West Sussex Children's Book Award (shortlist).
For Pig-Heart BoyEdit
- "Malorie Blackman". Children's Laureate (childrenslaureate.org.uk). Booktrust. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- Craig, Amanda (January 2004). "Malorie Blackman: the world in photographic negative". The Times. Times Newspapers Limited. Archived from the original on 2 December 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Malorie Blackman". 40 artists, 40 days. Tate Online. 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2007.
- "Full Record". British Library Integrated Catalogue. The British Library Board. Retrieved 28 March 2007.
- "Malorie Blackman". Contemporary Writers. British Council. 2007. Archived from the original on 11 April 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
- "Awards and Prizes". Kids at Random House. Random House Children's Books. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
- "Malorie Blackman – Children and Young People's Writer". Blast. BBC. Retrieved 23 March 2007.[dead link]
- "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 9.
- Martin Chilton, "Malorie Blackman is new Children’s Laureate", The Telegraph, 4 June 2013.
- Michelle Pauli, "Malorie Blackman is the new children's laureate", Children's Books, The Guardian, 4 June 2013.
- Preface to Tell Me No Lies.
- Verna Wilkins, Malorie Blackman – Author Black Stars series, Tamarind/Random House, 2008.
- Masters, Tim (17 March 2014). "Campaign over gender-specific books gains support". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Also published as Black & White, Simon Pulse, 2007, ISBN 1-4169-0017-9
- Also published in Noughts & Crosses, Corgi Children's, 2006, ISBN 0-552-55570-3
- Originally published 1997.
- Also published as 4u2read.ok Hostage, Barrington Stoke, 2002, ISBN 1-84299-056-X, and as a "Close Look, Quick Look" photocopiable version for teachers, Barrington Stoke, 2004, ISBN 1-84299-236-8
- Originally published separately as Whizziwig, 1995, and Whizzywhig Returns, 1999
- "Malorie Blackman pens Seventh Doctor and Daleks story | Articles | Doctor Who". Doctorwho.tv. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Also published as Ellie, and the Cat!, Orchard Books, 2005, ISBN 1-84362-391-9
- Also published as A New Dress for Maya, Gary Stevens Publishing, 1992, ISBN 0-8368-0713-8
- Flood, Alison (13 February 2014). "Ruth Ozeki beats Thomas Pynchon to top Kitschie award". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2014.