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Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess

Kill All Enemies

NewGen - YA Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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A brilliant, intense and important book for everyone who cares about the real lives of many young people. The award winning author of Junk, Melvin Burgess, is at his very best in this hard hitting and deeply touching story about Billie, Rob and Chris, three fourteen year olds who have nothing in common except that they have fallen outside the normal rules of teenage life. Why? Each tells their own story. Mostly sad, often shocking and frequently funny too, through these firsthand accounts Burgess gripping reveals how life really is for some young people.

If you like Melvin Burgess you might also like to read books by Mary Hooper, Sophie Hannah and kevin brooks.


Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess

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?

A Piece of Passion from Puffin's Publishing Director, Sarah Hughes:

"You may think you know Melvin Burgess and his books. He's an author whose reputation precedes him, so in many ways he needs no introduction. But whether you have read any of his other work or not, put aside any assumptions you might be tempted to make and let me introduce you to his stunning new novel Kill All Enemies. Read it as if it were a debut.

"Written by a master, this is a novel with plenty of swagger, keen intelligence and empathy, but at its heart is an aching vulnerability. The thing that stayed with me most after reading Billie, Rob and Chris's stories was the way that kids who could all too easily be written off or ignored had been given a voice. These are 'problem' kids, dismissed as no-hopers, who, when you scratch the surface, often turn out to be heroes - I hope they will find their way into your heart as they did mine. I want to let you discover the characters for yourselves, so I won't say any more.

"Snuggle into a comfy chair and let those voices carry you away."

Melvin Burgess is the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Carnegie Medal and has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. For this book, he went into Pupil Referral Units (PRUs, where excluded students are sent) around the North West, as well as to other places where people got together out of school, and asked them to tell him their stories: “I found out what I think I always suspected. Those young people weren't losers, they weren't wasters – many of them were heroes; real, one hundred per cent, modern heroes. It's just that school wasn’t a priority for them. They had bigger stuff to deal with. Kill All Enemies is based on real people. I hope they feel I've done justice to their remarkable, surprising stories, and the bravery, humour and conviction with which they live their lives.”


'A writer of the highest quality with exceptional powers of insight' - The Times

'(Of Junk:) Brilliantly and sensitively written, it encompasses the raw, savage and ecstatic world of the adolescent mind ... a superbly crafted and important book' - The Guardian

About the Author

Melvin Burgess

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.

Photo credit: John Coombes

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Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2011


Melvin Burgess

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Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


320 pages


NewGen - YA Fiction
eBook Favourites

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)



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