Nicholas Dane by Melvin Burgess

Nicholas Dane

Written by Melvin Burgess

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Carnegie-prize winning author, Melvin Burgess, has written a long-awaited new novel. This compelling story of a teenager caught in a corrupt 1980s care home is a powerful study of a particularly highly charged and distressing subject and one that is frighteningly topical now 30 years later. Handled with great sensitivity and engrossing narrative drive, Nicholas Dane is an important addition to the understanding of how teenage lives can go so wrong.

A piece of passion from Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Puffin Books:

"We are incredibly proud of every book we publish at Puffin but we want to share with you a handful of our exciting standalone novels. Gathered together under the umbrella of 'Fiction Puffin Loves', these are books we feel expecially passionate about. Here, you won't find the big bestselling series, but you are guaranteed writing at its very best - by debut writers as well as award-winners such as Melvin Burgess and Meg Rosoff. This is Fiction Puffin Loves."


Nicholas Dane by Melvin Burgess

When Nick's mother dies suddenly, the 14 year old is sent straight into a boys' home, where he finds institutional intimidation and violence keep order. Nick thinks life can't get any worse - but the professionally respected deputy head, Mr Creal, who has been grooming him with sweets and solace, has something much more sinister in mind.


"The same anger at social injustice that fuelled Dickens’ Oliver Twist drives Nicholas Dane, but Burgess also embraces Dickens’ taste for high drama, fast pace, and wonderful, larger-than-life characters that make you really care. It will engage your heart as much as your mind. It may shock you. It will definitely disturb you. But that is exactly why we need novels like Nicholas Dane and novelists like Melvin Burgess. Nicholas Dane is certainly an important book that needed to be written." - The Telegraph

About the Author

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess was brought up in Sussex and Berkshire. As a child, his reading included The Wind in the Willows and Gerald Durrell's animal stories. He went on to enjoy The Hobbit and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books. A generally unconfident student, he became interested in writing when he was twelve and an English teacher praised one of his stories - "it was about the first time I'd ever done anything that got an A. I was so pleased I never stopped." After leaving school, Melvin moved to Bristol where he worked on occasional jobs, mainly in the building industry, and was often unemployed. He started writing in his twenties and wrote on and off for the next fifteen years before The Cry of the Wolf was published in 1990. He moved to London in 1983 and began a small business marbling fabrics for the fashion industry. In 1997 his controversial bestseller JUNK won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal. It was also shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Four of his novels have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Melvin Burgess is regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children's literature. In 1997, his controversial bestseller Junk won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal. It was also shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Four of his novels have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Melvin lives in Hebden Bridge with his partner.

Photo credit: John Coombes

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Book Info


416 pages
Interest Age: From 14


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Puffin Books

Publication date

3rd June 2010




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