ErinSykes-LiteraryGirlsSephyHadley-31032016Noughts & Crosses, the first in a series of best-selling novels by Malorie Blackman, is one of the most memorable books from my teen years. The story turns history on its head and is set in a world where Africans had enslaved Europeans rather than the other way around. The story begins after the abolition of slavery in a Jim Crow society where Crosses (blacks) are superior to Noughts (whites). For me there is really only one obvious choice of heroine in this story and that is Sephy Hadley.

Sephy is the daughter of a wealthy Cross politician and has had a very privileged upbringing which has the potential to make her a typical close minded Cross, yet she has so many wonderful qualities which make her a winning female protagonist. From a young age Sephy sees past the racist world in which she lives and befriends the family nanny’s Nought son. She soon falls in love with him and it is this open-minded outlook throughout the book is something which really made me warm to Sephy as a character.

This is not the only positive about her personality. Sephy is also brave, she remains strong when a Nought terrorist group kidnaps her and when the love of her life is hung for a crime he did not commit. She shows huge amounts of courage despite all the misfortune life throws at her and always tries to do the right thing even when that may not be the easiest option. It is this strength, along with her honourable morals, which I personally think, make Sephy such a great role model to young girls. If you haven’t yet read any of the Noughts and Crosses series I urge you to check them out, and maybe it might inspire you to show strength and courage in your life.

-Erin Sykes
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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