Author – Melvin Burgess
Age – 15+
Told in many viewpoints (mostly Gemma & Tar), Junk is the story of 15 yr old Tar running away from his drunken, abusive parents and then 14yr old Gemma from her (well-off but constrictive) family to join him. They end up in a squat, meeting others, learning how to live off the streets – but slowly over two years, spiralling down into prostitution, drug use and heroin addiction. Even though they keep telling themselves they can stop at any time….. (Junk is another name for Heroin)
One of the most powerful chapters was a chapter by Tar’s dad – remorseful for his drinking, losing his son, his wife, his job. And now Tar is turning out like him…
This is a hard hitting story about escaping from one life and diving into another, only to discover they just keep falling….
Junk won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1996
(Drug abuse, Overdose, Growing up, Squatting, Leaving home, Love, Family, Choices, Friends, Awards)