The Lost Witch
Andersen Press, 2018
On this shortlist:
Often described as the ‘godfather’ of Young Adult fiction in Britain, Melvin Burgess has won various prestigious awards, including the Carnegie medal for Junk (1996). He has written about a diverse range of subjects, including heroin addiction, teenage sex, Alzheimer’s and cosmetic surgery, and occasionally his work veers into fantasy.
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?
Melvin grew up near Crawley in Sussex, and moved to Reading, Berkshire at the age of twelve. After leaving school with two A-Levels in Biology and English, he enrolled on a six-month journalism course. He moved to Bristol at the age of 21, and began writing, between periods of work and unemployment. He continued writing after he moved to London in 1983, experimenting with short stories, radio plays and children’s fiction.
His first published book, The Cry of the Wolf (1990), was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. It was for his controversial teenage novel, Junk (1996) that he gained wider recognition.
Melvin now lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, with his partner Anita.
Amber from Guiseley School: