LoveReading4Kids

Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Melvin Burgess - Author

About the Author

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.

Featured books by Melvin Burgess

An Angel for May

An Angel for May

9+ readers 11+ readers

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Tam is unhappy at home and often takes refuge in the ruins of Thowt It Farm. But then one day he is transported back to the Second World War. Alone and afraid, he makes friends with May, who has been rescued from a bombed-out house. She tries to persuade him to stay at the farm, but Tam is afraid of being trapped in the past forever.

ebook of the month

Other books by Melvin Burgess

The Lost Witch

The Lost Witch

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/08/2018

Bea has started to hear and see things that no one else can - creatures, voices, visions. Then strangers visit Bea and tell her she is different: she has the rare powers of a witch. They warn her she is being hunted. Her parents think she is hallucinating and needs help. All Bea wants to do is get on with her life, and to get closer to Lars, the mysterious young man she has met at the skate park. But her life is in danger, and she must break free. The question is - who can she trust? Carnegie Medal-winner Melvin Burgess returns with a powerful, thrilling fantasy for young adults about magic, myth and following your instincts.

Sara's Face

Sara's Face

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2017

Sara is not your typical teenage girl. She wants more than just an ordinary life. She wants fame and beauty. She wants to be extraordinary. After she is injured in a mysterious accident, Sara meets Jonathon Heat, rock star. Heat is the centre of bizarre rumours and intense public adoration. And as Sara becomes ever more drawn into his powerful orbit, it soon becomes clear that Jonathon Heat wants something impossibly precious from her. But what does Sara really want? Sara's Face is a chilling exploration of the dark extremes of fame, plastic surgery and obsession.

Copper Treasure

Copper Treasure

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: eBook Release Date: 13/10/2015

From the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of Smack comes a middle-grade tale of adventure and cunning in the spirit of Treasure IslandVictorian London in the 1850's: Jamie, Ten Tons and Davies are young "e;mudlarks"e;--scavengers who eke out a meager existence by reclaiming bits of coal, rope, and anything of value from the muddy banks of the River Thames. Anything they find might keep them from starving for one more day.When they see a massive roll of copper fall off a ship, the trio comes up with a daring plan to retrieve it and make their fortunes. But can three small boys alone retrieve the impossibly heavy copper from the bottom of the Thames? They resolve to find a way--or die trying.

Lady My Life as a Bitch

Lady My Life as a Bitch

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2015

If you gotta be a dog, be a bitch. Sandra Francy is seventeen and under pressure - pressure to be good and work hard at school. But she's fed up with all that. She's been having fun, running wild - some say too wild. Then she gets turned into a dog. She's frightened at first, but she quickly realises there are pleasures she hardly knew existed. Is being human worth all the effort?

Persist

Persist

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/03/2015

A haunting, powerful drama from Carnegie Medalist Melvin Burgess. A girl in a coma. A desperate mother. Marianne has been absent from her own life for so long that even her mother's unwavering faith is starting to tremble. But Marianne, floating in her own world, is starting to remember who she is - and the sad woman that visits every day. Can they both persist long enough to find a way back to one another? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Doing It

Doing It

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2014

Dino's girlfriend won't give him what he wants. Jonathon is afraid of what his mates will think of the girl he likes. And Ben is having extra lessons from his sexy teacher. Three seventeen-year-old boys discover sex for the first time: but do they really know what they're doing?

Junk

Junk

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2014

This 20th Anniversary edition of the classic novel comes with an introduction from former children's laureate Malorie Blackman and bonus content following its controversial history, from its writing to when it won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. It was a love story. Me, Gemma and junk. I thought it was going to last forever. Tar loves Gemma, but Gemma doesn't want to be tied down. She wants to fly. But no one can fly forever. One day, finally, you have to come down. Melvin Burgess' most ambitious and complex novel is a vivid depiction of a group of teenagers in the grip of addiction. Told from multiple viewpoints, Junk is a powerful, unflinching novel about heroin. Once you take a hit, you will never be the same again.

Billy Elliot Book + CD

Billy Elliot Book + CD

Author: Melvin Burgess, Noemie Camara, Cecilia Bembibre Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 02/01/2014

Bloodtide

Bloodtide

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2013

'Love. Hate. So what? This is family. This is business.' London is in ruins. The once-glorious city is now a gated wasteland cut off from the rest of the country and in the hands of two warring families - the Volsons and the Connors. Val Volson offers the hand of his young daughter, Signy, to Connor as a truce. At first the marriage seems to have been blessed by the gods, but betrayal and deceit are never far away in this violent world, and the lives of both families are soon to be changed for ever . . . 'Shies from nothing, making it both cruel and magnificent' Guardian 'An epic tale of treachery, deceit, sex, torture, violence, revenge and retribution' Independent on Sunday 'Will rank along with the 20th-century classics' - Sunday Telegraph Winner of the Lancashire Book Award

Bloodsong

Bloodsong

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2013

'Love. Hate. So what? It's family. It's business.' Fifteen-year-old Sigurd, son of King Sigmund, is the last surviving member of the Volson clan. His father's kingdom - the former city of London - is gone. And his father's knife, a gift from the gods, has been shattered to dust. Armed with a powerful sword forged from the remnants of the knife, Sigurd faces death, fire and torment as he travels through Hel and back to unite his country once again. Packed with political intrigue and violence, love, lust and family feuds, Bloodsong is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones. 'Burgess's great triumph is not so much in inventing new stories as in finding fresh ways of retelling the ones that are themselves in danger of falling into extinction' Guardian 'A gripping story of horrific proportions from a prize-winning author' - Publishing News 'Teenage boys with strong stomachs should enjoy it' - Independent on Sunday 'A thrillingly readable and evocative narrative' - Daily Telegraph

The Hit

The Hit

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2013

A new drug is out. Everyone is talking about it. Death. Take it, and you have one amazing week to live. It's the ultimate high. At the ultimate price. Adam is tempted. Life is rubbish; his girlfriend's over him, his brother's gone. So what's he got to lose? Everything as it turns out. It's up to his girlfriend, Lizzie to show him. Purple and red cover available.

An Angel For May

An Angel For May

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Tam is unhappy at home and often takes refuge in the ruins of Thowt It Farm. But then one day he is transported back to the Second World War. Alone and afraid, he makes friends with May, who has been rescued from a bombed-out house. She tries to persuade him to stay at the farm, but Tam is afraid of being trapped in the past forever.

The Baby and Fly Pie

The Baby and Fly Pie

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2012

'We're the rubbish kids, losers and orphans. Everyday we go out on to the Tip to sort rubbish for Mother Shelly.' For Sham, Fly Pie and his sister Jane, this is the grim reality of their lives. Then one day everything changes when they find a baby on the Tip - a baby worth seventeen million pounds . . . This discovery takes them into a savage, lonely city and so begins an endless fight for survival.

Burning Issy

Burning Issy

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/02/2012

'Are you frightened of dying, Issy?' Issy doesn't know where she came from or who she is. Night after night, she has the same nightmare: she burns in a fire and at the heart of the flames is a face she dare not look at. Fear and superstition are everywhere. She must run - from the Witch-finder, from the evil hag who wants her, from those she loves and maybe even from her own true nature...

The Cry of the Wolf

The Cry of the Wolf

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

It was a mistake for Ben to tell the Hunter that there were still wolves in Surrey. For the Hunter was a fanatic, always on the lookout for unusual prey. Driven by an ambition to wipe out the last English wolves, the Hunter set out on a savage quest. But what happens when the Hunter becomes the hunted?

Kill All Enemies

Kill All Enemies

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Everyone says fourteen-year-old BILLIE is nothing but trouble. A fighter. A danger to her family and friends. But her care worker sees someone different. Her classmate ROB is big, strong; he can take care of himself and his brother. But his violent stepdad sees someone to humiliate. And CHRIS is struggling at school; he just doesn't want to be there. But his dad sees a useless no-hoper. Billie, Rob and Chris each have a story to tell. But there are two sides to every story, and the question is . . . who do you believe?

Nicholas Dane

Nicholas Dane

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/03/2010

Melvin Burgess, author of the award-winning young adult novel Junk, explores breaches of trust and the fight for revenge in the sinister thriller Nicholas Dane. 'We take care of boys that no one else will . . .' When Nicholas's mum overdoses on heroin, the fourteen-year-old is suddenly lost, grieving and alone. Sent away to a boys' home, Nick finds order is kept by intimidation and violence. After countless fights and punishments, Nick thinks life can't get any worse. But the deputy head, Mr. Tony Creal, has other ideas. The shame Nick experiences at the hands of Mr. Creal can never quite be forgotten and, when Nick discovers he wasn't the only one to suffer, the old hatred later resurfaces. Can revenge lay Nick's ghosts to rest - or will he never be free of them? 'A fine novel' - Independent 'A brave exploration of how the brutalization of children reverberates long after it has passed' - Daily Mail Award-winning children's author Melvin Burgess is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary young adult fiction. His most well-known book Junk won the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Other titles by Melvin Burgess available from Penguin include: Sara's Face, Doing IT (winner of the LA Times Young People's Book of the Year) and Kill All Enemies. If you enjoyed Nicholas Dane and want to get inside more of your favourite books, then check out spinebreakers.co.uk for exclusive author interviews, competitions, and much more.

Nicholas Dane

Nicholas Dane

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/06/2009

His most substantial book to date, 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. Handled with great sensitivity and engrossing narrative drive, it is an important addition to the understanding of how childcare can go so wrong. When Nick's mother dies suddenly and unexpectedly, the 14 year old is sent straight into a boys' home, where he finds institutional intimidation and violence keep order. After countless fights and punishments, 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. Nick has no choice but to escape. Living on the run, he falls in with a modern Fagin, a cheerful Rasta who fences stolen credit cards and car stereos. The scarring, shaming experience he suffered at the hands of Mr Creal can never quite be suppressed, and when the old hatred surfaces, bloody murder and revenge lead to an unforgettable climax.

Sara's Face

Sara's Face

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/09/2007

Melvin Burgess, author of the award-winning young adult novel Junk, explores the sinister side of fame, obsession and the cult of celebrity in the psychological thriller Sara's Face. Sara Carter wants to be famous. Fame is her obsession. So when legendary rock star Jonathon Heat offers her star training and the cosmetic surgery she thinks she wants, Sara can't believe her dream will come true. But Jonathon Heat doesn't want Sara's talent. Jonathon Heat wants Sara's face. Melvin Burgess is on top form with this chilling, original and topical psychological thriller. Award-winning children's author Melvin Burgess is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary young adult fiction. His most well-known book Junk won the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. Other titles by Melvin Burgess available from Penguin include: Nicholas Dane, Doing IT (winner of the LA Times Young People's Book of the Year) and Kill All Enemies. If you enjoyed Sara's Face and want to get inside more of your favourite books, then check out spinebreakers.co.uk for exclusive author interviews, competitions, and much more.

Bloodsong

Bloodsong

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2007

Bloodsong

Bloodsong

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/01/2007

'You thought you were watching my death,' hissed the dragon. 'But you were watching your own.' And then he lunged. Forced into the clutches of a bloodthirsty dragon, Sigurd is fighting not only for his life, but for the survival of an apocalyptic Britain. For Sigurd is the chosen one, the golden warrior boy blessed with the courage of a hero and the strength of a lion. In a world where power and corruption are all consuming, can he fulfil his destiny and overcome the tyranny that threatens to destroy him?

Sara's Face

Sara's Face

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Sara is going to have a face transplant. She has allowed herself to be drawn into the orbit of a highly manipulative and ruthless pop-star. He is going to take her discarded face to cover his own scarred and damaged one. But as the time of the operation approaches, those closest to her suspect that Sara is changing her mind. Is she being pressured into it? Is the wealthy pop-star her benefactor - or her gaoler?

Bloodsong

Bloodsong

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2005

Sigurd has a fabulous but frightening future predicted: even to start, he must leave everything he knows to go and fight a dragon, and from there descend into the Underworld. Sounds bad enough, but when you know that the dragon lives on a futuristic, industrially-ruined moonscape that was once Hampstead Heath, the scene is set for a staggeringly brutal fight on an epic scale. Unhappily for him, he meets the love of his life in the underworld, and Sigurd's efforts to rescue his lover will cause huge heartache and grief for both of them, and also for everyone who ever meets them.

Ghost Behind the Wall

Ghost Behind the Wall

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2003

Award-winning author Melvin Burgess's thrilling new ghost story for younger readers.David screamed and the ghostly boy opened his mouth and screamed back. But his scream wasn't the scream of a child-it was the scream of an old, old man."e;Come back, come back,"e; screamed the ghost in his cracked old voice. "e;Don't leave me. Don't go!"e;Twelve-year-old David lives with his dad in a big old apartment building called Mahogany Villas. When he discovers he can climb through the vent pipes in the building and get into other apartments and play tricks on people, he simply can't resist.His main victim is Robert Alveston, a forgetful man in his nineties who is afraid that he is losing his mind. But David's nasty pranks soon disturb more than his elderly neighbor. One day he comes face-to-face with a ghost, at first friendly but more and more terrifying as it becomes clear that he has a particular grudge against Mr Alveston. Soon both the old man and David are in great danger."e;An ultimately poignant adventure that will captivate British author Burgess' fans."e; - Booklist

Robbers on the Road

Robbers on the Road

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2003

An exciting tale, narrated from two very different perspectives, about two boys' efforts to become highwaymen to fool their school teacher. Further danger lies in store when they realize that they've strayed on to another robber's patch...By turns funny and thrilling - with an brilliant twist in the tale - this has all the hallmarks of a classic Melvin Burgess story. In addition, it's a story that explores a fast-changing period of history, and brings it vividly to life. As Melvin Burgess notes, 'Tensions between Britain and Spain were high, political talk was all of spies and treachery and war. Religion was a big issue - you could be imprisoned or worse for following the wrong faith.'

Burning Issy

Burning Issy

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2002

In this powerful novel set in England in the age of witch hunts, Issy doesn't know who she is or where she comes from. Every night she dreams of burning in a fire and at the heart of the flames is a face she dare not look at. Fear and superstition are everywhere and life is dangerous for Issy as she runs from the Witch-finder, from the evil hag who wants her and from those she loves - and maybe from her own true nature.

The Ghost Behind the Wall

The Ghost Behind the Wall

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2002

Twelve-year-old David lives with his dad in a block of flats and is a bit of a brute. He's very lonely as is old Mr Alverston, another Mahogany Villas resident, who is afraid that he is losing his mind. David discovers that he can get into the ventilation shaft of the building and begins to spy on the other residents. One day he comes face to face with a ghost, at first friendly but more and more terrifying as it becomes clear that he has a particular grudge against Mr Alverston. Soon the old man and David are in great danger and, in a frightening and utterly moving conclusion, Mr Alverston and the ghost of the boy he once was, reunite, allowing the old man to die peacefully.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/2002

Billy Elliot's not like his Dad. He doesn't want to learn boxing. He's not cut out to be a miner. But when he stumbles across a ballet class and discovers he's a natural, he realises what he does want to do. This is Billy's gritty and determined struggle, at first in secret, but then with the wholehearted backing of his family, to dance his way to a different future.

Lady My Life as a Bitch

Lady My Life as a Bitch

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2001

A flirtatious, confident and rebellious teenager is transformed into an understandably confused and frightened dog by a tramp with magical powers. Sandra has a lot of growing up to do, quickly, to survive as a scrounging stray in a competitive and rough dog's world. She must do the clearest thinking of her life to work out whether she wants to recover her humanity, and if so, how to do it. This is doubly difficult as the brain she must think with is reduced to the scattered consciousness of a dog and the reality of the situation poses enormous problems as she finds herself experiencing all the physical aspects of being a dog, including running with a pack and going on heat.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2001

Billy Elliot's tough, funny and heart-warming story is given new depth by best-selling author, Melvin Burgess. Billy's mother is dead, and his father and brother are fiercely involved in a bitter miners' fight that has split the local community. Billy's father wants his son to learn boxing, like he did and his father before him. But Billy is fascinated by the grace and magic of ballet and is determined to dance his way to a different future. Told from the differing viewpoints of Billy, his father and brother and his friend Michael, Melvin Burgess has captured the spirit of the original film screenplay while demonstrating the skill and inspiration he showed in his award-winning novel, Junk.

Bloodtide

Bloodtide

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2001

Set in the future as two rival gangs, the Volsons and the Connors, struggle to control London. The city is almost cut off from the rest of the country and surrounded by the Halfman Lands - a desolate area populated by creatures, Halfmen, the results of genetic experiments to create living killing machines. Val Volson dreams of uniting the two factions by giving his 14-year-old daughter, Signy, as a bride to the rival ganglord, Connor. A shocking betrayal almost wipes out the Volsons - only Signy and her twin brother, Siggy, survive. The fate of both gangs, and of London, is in their hands, but both must pay a terrible price for power.

Bloodtide

Bloodtide

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/10/1999

In the year 2300 London is in ruins and in the hands of two warring families of ganglords, the Volsons and the Conors. To cement a truce Val Volson offers Conor the hand of his daughter Silivia, to her horror. The wedding is disrupted a msterious one-eyed prisoner who has been hanging upside down in a glass elevator shaft overlooking the banquet. The superstitious people are in no doubt that he is the god Odin and they watch in terror as he challenges themto see who can remove the special knife from the lift shaft. It is Silvia's twin brother who claims the knife and then returns to Conor. Val is killed and the three sons perish but Siggy is saved by Melanie, a pigwoman, though he has lsot Odin's knife to Conor in battle. In order to stop Silvia avenging her family's death, Conor has her legs broken to keep her prisoner, But Silvia has an ally in Cherry, a cat and shape-changer devoted to her mistress and together they plan the downfall of Conor, a plan that will also involve Siggy in taking a terrible revenge. . . .

Kite

Kite

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/03/1999

This is the story of a Kite, hand reared in secret by a young boy, Taylor, after an egg-hunting mission goes wrong and the mother bird abandons her nest. Not everyone wants to protect the Kite - Taylor's gamekeeper father and his employer see kites as predators on their pheasants, as vermin to be destroyed. The story reaches a dramatic climax as Tom, Taylor's father, knows he will lose his job and his home, if he fails to carry out his boss' wishes and kill the bird. He does intervene and stophis boss shooting the bird he has already cruelly injured. Tom regains his son's respect but the Kite will never fly again.

Tiger, Tiger

Tiger, Tiger

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/1998

Tigers are now extinct in the wild but in the Yorkshire Dales there is the world's largest Tiger Park. Tiger bones are still prized in Chinese medicine and Mr Yung, the head of a Chinese gang, is after the Malham Tigers. He is particularly anxious to procure a young tigress called Lila, who is a rare 'Spirit Tiger'. When the poaching goes horribly wrong, there is a massacre of tigers and men, but, thanks to Lila, some of the tigers escape. With her supernatural powers, which include shape-changing into a young girl, Lila pursues everyone involved in the massacre.

The Earth Giant

The Earth Giant

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/08/1997

A massive hurricane uncovers a strange earth giant in the ground. Amy and Peter discover her and find themselves drawn into an unusual relationship. This unforgettable, poignant and magical story shows how the two children, especially Amy, protect their extraordinary and lonely friend. In the end they realise that, although giant in size, she is just a little girl and they help her to reunite with her own people.

An Angel for May

An Angel for May

Author: Melvin Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/1994

Tam is unhappy at home and often takes refuge in the ruins of Thowt It Farm. But then one day he is transported back to the Second World War. Alone and afraid, he makes friends with May, who has been rescued from a bombed-out house. She tries to persuade him to stay at the farm, but Tam is afraid of being trapped in the past forever.

LoveReading
LoveWriting
LoveReading4Schools
NEW INDIE AND SELF PUBLISHED BOOK REVIEW AND PROMOTION SERVICE LAUNCHED!    Read More
×