New Release Books by Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess is the author of Loki (2022), The Lost Witch (2018), The Copper Treasure (2015), Count (2021), War Girls (2014) and other 88 books.

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Loki

release date: Nov 17, 2022
Loki
Step into the ancient fir-tree forests of Scandinavia and bear witness to legends as epic as those of the Greeks and the Romans. Melvin Burgess revolutionised children's literature with the infamous cult novels Junk and Doing It. In his first adult novel, Loki, he breathes new life into Norse myths. Starting with the Norse creation myths, the trickster god Loki takes the reader on a wild ride through Norse mythology, from the time the gods - the founders of Asgard - defeated races of monsters, and hurtling through famous stories, including Odin hanging himself on the World Tree, the theft of the corrupting gold ring and the murder of Baldr, the god of love and the Sun. This narrative may seem familiar enough at first, but the reader should beware. Born within the heart of a fire in the hollow of a tree-trunk, Loki arrives in Asgard as an outsider. He is a trickster, an unreliable narrator, the god of intelligence and politics. In spite of his cleverness and sparkling wit (or, perhaps, because of this...) Loki struggles to find his place among the old patriarchal gods of supernatural power and is constantly at odds with the god of thunder - Thor. This retelling contemporary in tone, at once amusing and relatable. It is a heartfelt plea to overthrow the old gods of power and authority and instigate a new era ruled by love and intelligence. Alongside the politics of Asgard, it charts the course of Loki's many loves and families, from his mothering of Odin's famous horse to his intense, turbulent, and, eventually, fatal relationship with Baldr the Beautiful - a tender and moving story of love that goes wrong, jealousy and a transitioning that is forbidden by society.

The Lost Witch

release date: Aug 02, 2018
The Lost Witch
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.

The Copper Treasure

release date: Oct 13, 2015
The Copper Treasure
From the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of Smack comes a middle-grade tale of adventure and cunning in the spirit of Treasure Island Victorian London in the 1850's: Jamie, Ten Tons and Davies are young "mudlarks"--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.

Count

release date: Oct 07, 2021
Count
Brandon is a boaster – he says he is brilliant at lots of things. Then he is challenged to count up to ten million. So Brandon starts: one, two, three . . . and before long he is up to one thousand. Everyone around him is bewildered and annoyed: his friend Waris, his teachers and Miss Hexx, the head. But Brandon can’t stop counting. And the higher he counts, the more everyone takes an interest, when Brandon reaches 30,000 he goes viral, by the time he gets to one million, he has a manager and a stadium full of fans counting with him. And then strange, impossible things start happening. The numbers are taking over everything . . . A fun and contemporary story about rise and fall of celebrity, and ultimately staying true to yourself.

War Girls

release date: Jun 05, 2014
War Girls
As featured on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. 1914: war has broken out across Europe and beyond. Nothing will ever be the same again for those caught up in the conflict. This collection of short stories explores how the First World War changed and shaped the lives of women forever. A courageous nurse risks her life at the Front Line; a young woman discovers independence and intrigue in wartime London; and a grief-stricken widow defends her homeland amidst the destruction of war. Through these and other tales, War Girls presents a moving portrait of loss and grief, and of hope overcoming terrible odds.

The Hit

release date: Feb 25, 2014
The Hit
Live the ultimate high. Pay the ultimate price. The shocking return to YA by the author of SMACK. A new drug is on the street. Everyone's buzzing about it. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. It's the ultimate high at the ultimate price. Adam thinks it over. He's poor, and doesn't see that changing. Lizzie, his girlfriend, can't make up her mind about sleeping with him, so he can't get laid. His brother Jess is missing. And Manchester is in chaos, controlled by drug dealers and besieged by a group of homegrown terrorists who call themselves the Zealots. Wouldn't one amazing week be better than this endless, penniless misery? After Adam downs one of the Death pills, he's about to find out.

Losing It

release date: Oct 01, 2013
Losing It
A travesty. A violation. An ecstasy. A disappointment. An instant. A lie. A theft. A rite of passage. Whatever you call it, there's only one first time. A.S. King, Melvin Burgess, Keith Gray, Patrick Ness, Anne Fine, Sophie McKenzie, Bali Rai, Jenny Valentine, Mary Hooper, and Andrew Smith. Some of today's leading international YA authors contributed to this hard-hitting collection of original short stories: some funny, some moving, some haunting, but all revolving around the same subject—virginity.

Junk

release date: Apr 03, 2014
Junk
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. 'Everyone should read Junk' The Times

Doing It

release date: Aug 31, 2014
Doing It
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?

Billy Elliot

release date: Aug 03, 2013
Billy Elliot
The brand new novel of the BAFTA-winning film, written by Melvin Burgess. In the heart of a tough mining community, can Billy overcome prejudice and poverty, and find the courage to do what he really wants - to dance?

Sara's Face

release date: Jan 05, 2017
Sara's Face
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.

Three Bullets

release date: Jul 01, 2021
Three Bullets
The Bloods are in control and they’re desperate to turn Britain into the world they want to see: right, white, Christian supremist. Anyone who they call abnormal is a target. Amidst the chaos of civil war the country is on the move as small militia groups fight each other and a sea of refugees escapes the cities and the pursuing Bloods. When her home is destroyed in a bombing raid, Marti must strike out on a mission of her own - to save her father and get his vital software into the right hands. But Marti is mixed race and trans and has her young brother in tow. Crossing into enemy territory could prove suicidal. Yet Marti's enemies haven't reckoned with her indomitable will to survive - and the gun she carries, which has three bullets . . .

Lady

release date: Jul 02, 2015
Lady
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

release date: Apr 01, 2015
Persist
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?

Bloodtide

release date: Oct 18, 2011
Bloodtide
PART I London is in ruins, a once highly advanced city now a gated wasteland. Within its walls, a bloody war rages between two clans. Hope is sparse, but the people believe the gods have risen from the dead. Odin himself has come to play a part in the lives of two twins, a brother and sister from the Volson clan. Siggy and Signy must come to grips with their destiny as London's future teeters on the edge of a knife....

Smack

release date: Jun 08, 2010
Smack
Winner of the 1996 Carnegie Medal in Literature and the Guardian Prize for fiction, two of England's most prestigious awards, Smack tells a penetrating story about heroin use, a topic that is becoming familiar in the news and one of importance to teens everywhere. The story begins with Tar, a fourteen-year-old, who runs away from home. He convinces his girlfriend, Gemma, to come with him, and it is not long before they are engulfed in a loose community of people living in abandoned buildings. Everything seems to be turning out so well: they have a roof over their heads, food to eat, and a brand-new group of friends. And when Tar and Gemma try their first hit of smack, they think life will keep on getting better. But before long, they find they've lost control. The search for the next hit becomes all-consuming--until a disaster forces Gemma to take matters into her own hands. Insightful, haunting, and real, Smack is the Go Ask Alice of the '90s. It's a book that every teenager should read--then pass along to a friend.

Bloodsong

release date: Aug 28, 2007
Bloodsong
Forced into the clutches of a bloodthirsty dragon, Sigurd--the new hope of the Volson clan--fights not only for his life, but for the survival of an apocalyptic Britain.

Kill All Enemies

release date: Sep 01, 2011
Kill All Enemies
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

release date: Dec 07, 2010
Nicholas Dane
When fourteen-year-old Nicholas Dane's mother dies, social services sends him to a home for boys where intimidation and violence keep order. After a number of fights and brutal punishments, Nick thinks that life can't possibly get any worse . . . until he realizes that the home's respected deputy head, who has been grooming him with sweets and solace, has something more frightening in mind. Acclaimed writer and truth-teller Melvin Burgess brings us, with Dickensian scope and compelling narrative drive, his most ambitious book yet.

The Ghost Behind the Wall

release date: Apr 01, 2003
The Ghost Behind the Wall
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. "Come back, come back," screamed the ghost in his cracked old voice. "Don't leave me. Don't go!" 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.
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