Malorie Blackman is completing her Noughts & Crosses YA series with the sixth and final novel, Endgame, publishing with Penguin Random House Children’s UK in summer 2021.
Ruth Knowles, Penguin publisher, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the final instalment from Hilary Delamere at The Agency.
Blackman said: "To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about the story ending. I’m still too close to it. Telling the story of Sephy, Callum and their daughter Callie Rose has been a major part of my life for such a long time that it’s bittersweet to say farewell to them all, but mostly sweet. With Endgame, I hope that when the reader finishes the last page, they will feel a sense of conclusion and resolution but that the characters still exist and are carrying on with their lives even when the book is closed."
She added: "To all those who have made the Noughts & Crosses journey with me over the years, thank you for your support, your love, your patience and your impatience in chivvying me along to get the final book completed. I hope you feel the wait has been worth it."
According to PRH Children's, Endgame will be "informed by current events", elaborating that "with the unprecedented year we’ve experienced, readers can expect the final book to touch on the life-changing events of 2020 and the explosive action that Malorie has become known for".
Knowles commented: "Working with Malorie is just the greatest honour. I have felt that no more so than on this book – the culmination of a series that rightly means so much to so many people, a series that has changed the way people act and think about race and racism. Endgame – like its mighty Avengers namesake – has incredible twists and turns and amazing characters. I can’t wait for readers of all ages, and new and old fans of Malorie’s to read it."
Blackman has told the story of the Hadleys and the McGregors in six novels and three novellas over two decades, over which time the series has sold over two million books through Nielsen BookScan, becoming a firm fixture on many school reading lists. The publication of Endgame marks the 20th anniversary of Noughts & Crosses, the first book in Blackman’s the series, which also has inspired a radio play, two theatre plays and a BBC TV series.