The long-awaited autobiography of one of the world’s greatest children’s writers, and an empowering and inspiring account of a life in books.
Malorie Blackman OBE is one of Britain’s best loved and most widely-read writers. For over thirty years, her books have helped to shape British culture, and inspired generations of younger readers and writers. The Noughts and Crosses series, started in 2000, sparked a new and necessary conversation about race and identity in the UK, and are already undisputed classics of twenty-first-century children’s literature.
She is also a writer whose own life has been shaped by books, from her childhood in south London, the daughter of parents who moved to Britain from Barbados as part of the Windrush Generation, and who experienced a childhood that was both wonderful and marred by the everyday racism and bigotry of the era. She was told she could not apply to study her first love, literature, at university, in spite of her academic potential, but found a way to books and to a life in writing against a number of obstacles.
This book is an account of that journey, from a childhood surrounded by words, to the 83 rejection letters she received in response to sending out her first project, to the children’s laureateship. It explores the books who have made her who she is, and the background to some the most beloved and powerful children’s stories of today. It is an illuminating, inspiring and empowering account of the power of words to change lives, and the extraordinary life story of one of the world’s greatest writers.