Melvin Burgess is a British author of children's fiction. His first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. He gained a certain amount of notoriety in 1996 with the publication of Junk, which was published in the shadow of the film of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, and dealt with the trendy and controversial idea of heroin-addicted teenagers. Junk soon became, at least in Britain, one of the best-known children's books of the decade.
Burgess again courted predictable controversy in 2003, with the publication of Doing It, which dealt with underage sex. America created a show based on the book, Life As We Know It. In his other books, such as Bloodtide and The Ghost Behind the Wall, Burgess has dealt with less realist and sometimes fantastic themes. In 2001 Burgess wrote the novelisation of the film Billy Elliot, based on Lee Hall's screenplay. Polyphony is typical for his most famous novels.