Malorie Blackman

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Malorie Blackman
Maloriesmall.jpg
Born Oneta Malorie Blackman
(1962-02-08) 8 February 1962 (age 52)
Clapham, London, England
Occupation Author
Nationality British
Genre Children's literature, science fiction, mystery, thriller and horror; poetry
Website
www.malorieblackman.co.uk

Malorie Blackman, OBE (born 8 February 1962), is a British writer who holds the position of Children's Laureate for 2013 to 2015.[1] 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.

Biography[edit]

Malorie Blackman was born on 8 February 1962. Her parents are members of the Nigerian Yoruba tribe.[2] While at school, she wanted to be an English teacher but grew up to become a systems programmer instead.[2][3] She earned a HNC at Thames Polytechnic and is a graduate of the National Film and Television School.[2][4]

Blackman married her husband Neil in the 1990s and their daughter, Elizabeth was born in 1995.[3] Blackman has described herself, "I'm just Malorie Blackman, a black woman writer."[2] Blackman's first book was Not So Stupid, which was a collection of horror and science fiction stories for young adults, published in November 1990.[5] Since then she has written more than sixty children's books, including novels and short story collections, and also television scripts and a stage play.[5][6]

Her work has won more than fifteen awards.[6][7] 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.[6] Her books have been translated into over fifteen 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 noughts and crosses is "...one of those games that nobody ever plays after childhood, because nobody ever wins..."[8] In an interview for The Times, Blackman said that before writing Noughts & Crosses her protagonists' ethnicities were never central to the plots of her books.[3] 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."[2] Blackman eventually decided to address racism directly.[3][8] 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.[3] The Times interviewer Amanda Craig speculated about why the Noughts & Crosses series was not, for a long time, 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."[3] 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.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.[9]

In June 2013 Blackman was announced as the new Children's Laureate, succeeding Julia Donaldson.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

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.[12] She is the subject of a biography for children by Verna Wilkins.[13] In March 2014, Blackman joined other prominent authors in supporting the Let Books Be Books campaign, which seeks to stop children’s books being labelled as ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys’.[14] In August 2014, 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.[15]

Works[edit]

Published works[edit]

The cover of the 2003, first edition, paperback of An Eye for an Eye
The cover of the 2004, first edition, hardcover of Knife Edge

Novels for young adults[edit]

Short stories for young adults[edit]

  • "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 children[edit]

Short stories for children[edit]

  • "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 20220202857574939

Books for new readers[edit]

  • 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! [22] (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

Picture books[edit]

Television scripts[edit]

Her novel Operation Gadgetman! was also adapted into a 1996 TV movie directed by Jim Goddard and starring Marina Sirtis.

Stage plays[edit]

  • The Amazing Birthday
  • Noughts and Crosses

Radio scripts[edit]

  • Noughts and Crosses

Awards and nominations[edit]

Body of work[edit]

Novels[edit]

For Hacker (1995)[edit]

For Thief! (1996)[edit]

  • 1996, Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Children's Book of the Year Award.[6]

For A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E (1997)[edit]

  • 1997, Stockport Children's Book of the Year Award (Key Stage 3 category).[6]
  • 1997, Stockton-on-Tees Children's Book Award (shortlisted).[7]
  • 1998, Sheffield Children's Book Award (highly commended).[7]
  • 2001, Stockport Schools Book Award (shortlisted).[7]

For Pig-Heart Boy (1997)[edit]

For Tell Me No Lies (1999)[edit]

  • 1999, Stockport Children's Book Award (shortlisted) (Key Stage 4 category).[6][7]

For Dead Gorgeous (2002)[edit]

  • 2003, Calderdale Book of the Year (shortlist).[7]
  • 2003, Salford Children's Book Award (shortlist).[7]

For books in the Noughts & Crosses series[edit]

For Cloud Busting (2004)[edit]

  • 2004, Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Silver Award) (6–8 years category).[6]
  • 2005, Redbridge Children's Book Award (shortlist).[7]
  • 2005, Stockport Schools Book Award (shortlisted).[7]
  • 2006, Nottingham Children's Book Award (shortlist) (10–11 years category).[7]
  • 2006, West Sussex Children's Book Award (shortlist).[7]

Television adaptations[edit]

For Pig-Heart Boy[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Malorie Blackman". Children's Laureate (childrenslaureate.org.uk). Booktrust. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e Blackman, Malorie (1995–2007). "Malorie Blackman". Penguin UK Authors. Penguin Books Ltd. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Craig, Amanda (January 2004). "Malorie Blackman: the world in photographic negative". The Times. Times Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  4. ^ "Malorie Blackman". 40 artists, 40 days. Tate Online. 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  5. ^ a b "Full Record". British Library Integrated Catalogue. The British Library Board. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Malorie Blackman". Contemporary Writers. British Council. 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Awards and Prizes". Kids at Random House. Random House Children's Books. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  8. ^ a b "Malorie Blackman – Children and Young People's Writer". Blast. BBC. Retrieved 2007-03-23. [dead link]
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 9. 14 June 2008.
  10. ^ Martin Chilton, "Malorie Blackman is new Children’s Laureate", The Telegraph, 4 June 2013.
  11. ^ Michelle pauli, "Malorie Blackman is the new children's laureate", Children's Books, The Guardian, 4 June 2013.
  12. ^ Preface to Tell Me No Lies.
  13. ^ Verna Wilkins, Malorie Blackman – Author Black Stars series, Tamarind/Random House, 2008.
  14. ^ Masters, Tim (17 March 2014). "Campaign over gender-specific books gains support". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  16. ^ Also published as Black & White, Simon Pulse, 2007, ISBN 1-4169-0017-9
  17. ^ Also published in Noughts & Crosses, Corgi Children's, 2006, ISBN 0-552-55570-3
  18. ^ Originally published 1997.
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ Originally published separately as Whizziwig, 1995, and Whizzywhig Returns, 1999
  21. ^ "Malorie Blackman pens Seventh Doctor and Daleks story | Articles | Doctor Who". Doctorwho.tv. 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  22. ^ Also published as Ellie, and the Cat!, Orchard Books, 2005, ISBN 1-84362-391-9
  23. ^ Also published as A New Dress for Maya, Gary Stevens Publishing, 1992, ISBN 0-8368-0713-8
  24. ^ Flood, Alison (13 February 2014). "Ruth Ozeki beats Thomas Pynchon to top Kitschie award". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Julia Donaldson
Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Incumbent