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Junk [Paperback]

Melvin Burgess
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Audio, CD, Audiobook CDN $40.72  

Book Description

Jan. 28 2003 Puffin Teenage Fiction
Winner of both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction prize, Melvin Burgess' controversial young adult novel "Junk" redefined teenage fiction with its frank and honest portrayal of teenagers addicted to heroin in Bristol. Junk = heroin = bliss = despair = a love affair you'll never forget Tar loves Gemma, but Gemma doesn't want to be tied down - to anyone or anything. Gemma wants to fly. But no one can fly forever. One day, somehow, finally, you have to come down. "Haunting and remarkable for the insight and understanding with which the author develops the characters". ("Guardian"). "Believable and rivetingly readable. I couldn't put it down". ("Evening Standard"). "A powerful talent who offers few easy solutions". ("The Times"). 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", "Nicholas Dane", "Doing IT" (winner of the "LA Times" Young People's Book of the Year) and "Kill All Enemies". If you enjoyed Junk and want to get inside more of your favourite books, then check out spinebreakers.co.uk for exclusive author interviews, competitions, and much more.

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Review

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 The most talked-about children's book for years Mail on Sunday Brilliantly and sensitively written, it encompasses the raw, savage and ecstatic world of the adolescent mind... a superbly crafted and important book TES Beautifully written The Times

About the Author

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: The Cry of the Wolf, An Angel for May, The Baby and Fly Pie and The Ghost Behind the Wall. Melvin lives in Manchester with his two children.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A boy and a girl were spending the night together in the back seat of a Volvo estate car. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an unforgettable read Jan. 10 2004
By Shelly
Format:Paperback
one of the best books i have read in a long time, "junk" by melvin burgess delivers everything i look for a in a young adult novel, but its believable and relatable characters make this a superb choice regardless of your age.
the story is really about gemma and tar, though the plot unfolds through the voices of seven or eight people, each voicing their view on living a drug-filled life in london's squats. "junk" is a subtle love story that is harsh, warming, and always... real.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Handle Like Hendrix reviews Junk June 22 2009
By C. Dey
Format:Paperback
Let me just start by saying that JUNK is my most favorite book only after THE CATCHER IN THE RYE.

JUNK is just so raw and so real. It tells you honestly what heroin addiction is like, displaying the bliss and the sorrow, and what you have to do to keep the addiction intact.

I don't want to give away what happens but I will say that the ending is not what you'd expect. Tar and Gemma are a really neat couple-- they started their journey with heroin at age 14. And Gemma has quite a unique attitude. It's also cute how they always say 'dandelion'. Tar is really cute and a talented artist who runs away from his alcoholic/abusive mother.

JUNK gives insight into the characters mind and also their lives before junk. JUNK also gives imense detail into what its really like to be addicted to heroin and the attraction that comes with it.

In JUNK along with heroin addiction comes shoplifting and teen pregnancy and prostitution. And this book is British and takes place in the 1980's I believe, right after the huge punk movement there. That's one of the reasons why this book is so authenic and completely fascinating. Highly HIGHLY reccomended.

Reviewed by Callie at Handle Like Hendrix
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1.0 out of 5 stars book about reality April 23 2002
By j&l
Format:Hardcover
In my opinion Junk isn't as good as a lot of others say. It's neither very interesting nor exciting. You always know what the characters are going to do next. The whole action is that some kids ran away from home, start taking drugs and then got into contact with thieving, prostitution, etc., because they need money to pay the drugs. This is very boring, nothing special happens. The only thing in this book which is really well-made, is that the story is real and that the author hadn't left out details or things which could be "too hard" for teenagers. Reality is hard and most times not nice. Grown-ups often can't imagine with what their children are confronted in school or when they are out with friends. This book is a good possibility to tell teenagers something about drugs, but it's not a book which I'd read in my free time. I'm interested in a lot of things and I've read a lot of different books but I think that this is one of the most boring ones. This book is not to entertain you or to make you learn something, it's just to make attention.
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1.0 out of 5 stars book about reality April 23 2002
By j&l
Format:Hardcover
In my opinion Junk isn't as good as a lot of others say. It's neither very interesting nor exciting. You always know what the characters are going to do next. The whole action is that some kids ran away from home, start taking drugs and then got into contact with thieving, prostitution, etc., because they need money to pay the drugs. This is very boring, nothing special happens. The only thing in this book which is really well-made, is that the story is real and that the author hadn't left out details or things which could be "too hard" for teenagers. Reality is hard and most times not nice. Grown-ups often can't imagine with what their children are confronted in school or when they are out with friends. This book is a good possibility to tell teenagers something about drugs, but it's not a book which I'd read in my free time. I'm interested in a lot of things and I've read a lot of different books but I think that this is one of the most boring ones. This book is not to entertain you or to make you learn something, it's just to make attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You HAVE to read this book!! June 19 2001
Format:Hardcover
Junk is one of the best books I've ever read.. well, actually it's THE best book I've ever read. I started off disliking Melvin Burgess's style of writing, but now I see it as it is, nothing but genious. The way each chapter is written from another character's point of view is amazing, and the characters are painted fantastically. I found myself laughing out loud, or standing up and screaming at the inanimate book when things went wrong! I completely fell in love with Tar, and I felt as if Gemma was sitting next to me and reading these words to me... plus I have a new found love of dandelions!! If you don't have time to read this book, get time, because it may do to you what it did to me.. it gave me an entirely different outlook on life.. I wouldn't say it put me off drugs at all, but it certainly was honest, rather than just telling me "All drugs are bad. Never do drugs." If you have any interest in anything at all, then read this book!! JUNK ROX!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Junk is smack April 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
When i bought smack i could not put it down. then i was told that junk was the sequel to smack. so i bought that and it is the same book. i was mad. so don't be folled because the athour re-named the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new insight Jan. 14 2000
By "riina"
Format:Hardcover
Junk really is more than just a book. After I read it once I read it again and I read parts of it every day. It really is an inspiration to new thoughts and attitudes about life. The book doesn't judge drugs immediately but makes the reader make his or her own conclusion about that stuff, which is really good.Junk can truly give so many new ideas into your life. It can change your life. read it.
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