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Black History Month 2020

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October is Black History Month, so we’ve been busy highlighting inclusive reads on our social media channels.

On the blog this week we’ll be spotlighting the works of Andrea Levy, and next week we’ll be focusing on Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses novels.

Andrea Levy was an multi award-winning author; a Londoner and child of the Windrush Generation, she became an author in her mid 30’s, writing stories that reflect the world she grew up in, that she had wanted to read as a young woman.

None of my books is just about race, they’re about people and history.

Andrea Levy

Levy’s novels have triumphantly given voice to the people and stories that might have slipped through the cracks in history. From Jamaican slave society in the nineteenth century, through post-war immigration into Britain, to the children of migrants growing up in ’60s London, her books are acclaimed for skilful storytelling and vivid characters.

And her unique voice, unflinching but filled with humour, compassion and wisdom, has made her one of the most significant and exciting contemporary authors.

Levy sadly passed away in February 2019, leaving a legacy of inspiring and beloved works.

Malorie Blackman has written over seventy books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and a science-fiction thriller, Chasing the Stars.

Many of her books have also been adapted for stage and television, including a BAFTA-award-winning BBC production of Pig-Heart Boy and a Pilot Theatre stage adaptation by Sabrina Mahfouz of Noughts & Crosses. There is also a major BBC production of Noughts & Crosses, with Roc Nation (Jay-Z’s entertainment company) curating the soundtrack as executive music producer.

In 2005 Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books. In 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature, and between 2013 and 2015 she was the Children’s Laureate.

Most recently Malorie wrote for the Doctor Who series on BBC One, and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses series, Crossfire, was published by Penguin Random House Children’s in summer 2019.

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