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About the book
  • Published: 3 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448187454
  • Imprint: Andersen Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352


Formats & editions

The Carnegie and Guardian Fiction award-winning classic teen novel reissued for a new generation. With an introduction by Malorie Blackman and all-new material from Melvin Burgess and the publisher's archives on the book's controversial history.

Melvin Burgess is recipient of the YA Book Prize special achievement award for Junk.

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.

  • Pub date: 3 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448187454
  • Imprint: Andersen Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the Author

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess was born in London and brought up in Surrey and Sussex. He has had a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time writer. Before his first novel, he had short stories published and a play broadcast on Radio 4. He is now regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children's literature, having won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for his acclaimed novel Junk.

Also by Melvin Burgess

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Praise for Junk

“Everyone should read Junk.”

The Times

“Melvin Burgess's ground-breaking Junk remains the best book about teenagers and drugs to this day”

Julia Eccleshare, Guardian Online

“Junk has a perfect sense of time and place, characters who feel real and it may just be the best YA book ever.”

Robert Muchamore, Big Issue, Top 5 Young Adult Books

“Occasionally a 'teenage novel' comes along which makes one reconsider the whole genre and its potential. Such a book is Melvin Burgess's Junk.”

Robert Dunbar, Children's Books in Ireland

“Personally I prefer the love triangle in Melvin Burgess’s Junk, in which Tar’s devotion to heroin split he and Gemma apart.”

Juno Dawson, Guardian

“This book is beguiling, layered and filled with a boldness that comes with youth.”

Gemma Cairney

“Brilliantly and sensitively written, it encompasses the raw, savage and ecstatic world of the adolescent mind... a superbly crafted and important book”


“Beautifully written”

The Times

“Believable and rivetingly readable. I couldn’t put it down.”

Evening Standard

“Moving and provocative”


“One novel that will leave an indelible impression on all who read it”

Publishers Weekly

“It is the real thing - a teenage novel for teenage readers”

The Scotsman

“An honest, authentic look at drug culture”

Time Out

“. . . a story that provoked some scandal when it won the coveted Carnegie Medal for children's books.”


“One of the defining books of YA fiction”

Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

“Before YA was a thing, there was Junk by Melvin Burgess... an unflinching look at addiction, and holds strong more than 20 years after its first release.”


“An absolute must-read for any teenager and an essential eye-opener to any parent of a teenager… utterly compelling and terrifying by turns.”


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