The Declaration
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The Declaration

4.0 70
by Gemma Malley

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Its the year 2140 and Anna shouldnt be alive. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. The facility is full of kids like her, kids whose parents chose to recklessly abuse Mother Nature and have children despite a law forbidding them from doing so as long as they took longevity drugs. To pay back her parents debt to Mother Nature, Anna will have to


Its the year 2140 and Anna shouldnt be alive. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. The facility is full of kids like her, kids whose parents chose to recklessly abuse Mother Nature and have children despite a law forbidding them from doing so as long as they took longevity drugs. To pay back her parents debt to Mother Nature, Anna will have to work for the rest of her life. But then Peter appears at the hall, and he tells a very different story about the world outside of the Grange. Peter begs Anna to escape Grange Hall, and to claim a life for herself outside its bleak walls. But even if they get out, they still have to make their way to London, to Annas parents, and to an underground movement thats determined to bring back children and rid the world of longevity drugs.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Set in the year 2140 in England, this chilling dystopian tale explores issues of overpopulation, global warming and the ethics of immortality. A drug called Longevity has made life without death a reality for the masses-but driven humanity to the brink of a Malthusian catastrophe. Orwellian-like Authorities have all but outlawed procreation in an effort to stabilize the population. Those born illegally are inevitably captured, sent to processing facilities and taught to be Valuable Assets to society, i.e., slaves to the immortals. Surplus Anna has spent most of her 14 years inside Grange Hall, where she has learned to hate not only herself but also the parents who selfishly broke the Declaration in giving life to her. But the arrival of a rebellious Surplus named Peter, who has lived on the Outside, brings Anna disturbing revelations about the world and her particular place in it. In her first YA book, Malley (British author Gemma Townley writing under a pseudonym) successfully imparts a strong message about the need for continual change ("Nature is not about preserving old things, but about creating new ones. New life. New ideas"). Although the backstory and world-building elements seem slightly underdeveloped, readers with a taste for speculative fiction will enjoy this relevant read. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up- Malley paints a picture even grimmer than that in James DeVita's The Silenced (HarperCollins, 2007). In Anna's world of 2140, almost everyone on the planet has access to Longevity-a drug that arrests the aging process. Energy, food, and other resources are scarce, so around the world, humanity has made the same choice-no new humans can be allowed. In the U.K., any children born to Legals are Surplus. Catchers capture them and send them to horrid places like Grange Hall, where they are taught that their very existence is a sin and to make up for the resources that they steal from Legals they must pay with a lifetime of abject servitude. Surplus Anna is close to leaving Grange Hall and, she hopes, becoming a Valuable Asset when a new teenage Surplus arrives. Peter is different from anyone Anna has ever known. He gradually convinces her that he knows her parents and that they are kind and loving, contrary to everything that she has been taught. As their escape unfolds, readers also learn the backstory of the cruel House Matron of Grange Hall. The two stories collide in a startling climax. Malley combines issues of the environment, immoral incarceration, slavery, and torture into an enthralling tale. This novel will appeal to any teens who have ever felt their age held against them without evidence of any wrongdoing on their part.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A futuristic adventure reminiscent of Kazuo Ishiguro's adult novel Never Let Me Go. Anna is a "Surplus," an illegally born child. In 2140, medical breakthroughs have enabled eternal life, so there is no room in the world for children. Those, like Anna, who are born illegally are raised in Surplus Halls, where they are taught how to "Know Their Place" and become "Valuable Assets." Anna is grateful for her home in the freezing cold Surplus Hall, for her tiny shares of bad food and for the teachers who give her the skills she will need after graduation when she will work in forced labor for "Legal People." But Anna's comfortable world of Knowing Her Place is disrupted when a new Surplus arrives, a boy named Peter who claims to bring messages from Anna's parents. Peter challenges everything Anna has ever believed about society, nature and morality. Anna's adventure is well worth reading; this unreliable narrator's faith in her tormentors is thought-provoking and deeply sad. (Science fiction. 11-13)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

GEMMA MALLEY studied philosophy at Reading University before working as a journalist. A successful author of womens fiction, The Declaration is her first book for young readers. She lives in London with her family.
Gemma Malley studied Philosophy at Reading University before working as a journalist. She edited several business magazines and contributed regularly to Company magazine and the Sunday Telegraph before moving into the Civil Service in a senior communications role at Ofsted. The Declaration, her first novel for a teenage audience, and its sequel, The Resistance, were published to critical acclaim. She lives in South London.

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The Declaration 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
C.S. Lewis, author of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, once wrote that there are three ways of writing for children. The first is to cater to what children want (but people seldom know what they want and this usually ends badly), the second develops from a story told to a specific child (Lewis Carrol's THE ADVENTURES OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND, for instance), and the third is that it is simply the best art form to convey the story.

Gemma Malley's debut young adult novel, THE DECLARATION, is of the last category.

I am making this point because while THE DECLARATION involves two teenagers, fourteen-year-old Anna and fifteen-year-old Peter, it never feels aimed towards the teen audience Therefore it is categorized as a young adult novel by the age of its narrators rather than its content and this, I believe, will give it an enduring quality. C. S. Lewis wrote, "Where the children's story is simply the right form for what the author has to say, then of course readers who want to hear that will read the story or reread it at any age."

THE DECLARATION opens in the year 2140, and people have conquered death in the form of Longevity drugs. With limited food and fuel resources, waste has become a serious crime and the worst crime of all is having a child. Anna is one of these children. She is housed at Grange Hall where she and other Surpluses are taught that the most they can ever hope for is a harsh life of servitude to make amends for their existence.

Anna is well on her way to becoming a Valuable Asset when Peter arrives at Grange Hall. He challenges everything she has learned by arguing that people who take Longevity are the real criminals and perversions of nature, not the young. He also claims that he knows her parents and that they want her back. Peter is strange and new, but is he enough to make her risk everything to escape with him?

Unlike some novels that use characters, plot, and setting as a vehicle to drive home a message, Gemma Malley never lets the moral and ethical questions she raises detract from the actual story. The characters are well drawn and identifiable, and the language is simple and unpretentious. THE DECLARATION is not without flaws, especially the failure to explain or integrate Mrs. Pincent's involvement with the black market product Longevity+ into a major plotline, but this lends mystery and excitement for a sequel.

Even though it contains a handful of science fiction and young adult hallmarks, such as a utopia/dystopia setting, wonder drugs, and finding and defining oneself, it cannot be dismissed as merely a youthful 1984 knockoff. It is mostly a book about people, fear, and loss. Themes that are, if not always, exquisitely accessible in this age.
Kaylene Kilbarger More than 1 year ago
A lot of twists and turns...great story overall really enjoyed wont be disappointed
gladeslibrarian More than 1 year ago
You've probably heard the sayings "all good things must come to an end" and "life is good," right? Well, obviously life must come to an end. You don't need sayings to know that. But in this futuristic tale by Gemma Malley, the good life never has to end. Every legal 16-year-old gets to choose. So, what's the choice? Eternal life or a child. Just sign the Declaration and you're in - forever. The problem for 15-year-old Anna is that she's not legal. She doesn't get that choice or any other choices because she's Surplus. All the children who weren't supposed to be born are Surplus. For Anna that means Grange Hall, a training facility, where she's being programmed to serve the 'immortals' until her short miserable life is over. She's been beaten, starved and brainwashed to believe that her parents were selfish to have her and that it would take her whole life to atone for their sins. Then 16-year-old Peter gets dropped off at Grange Hall by the Catchers. But Peter's no ordinary Surplus. He's got confidence and spirit and all his attention is focused on Anna. He tells her he knows her parents and that they love her. He says he got caught on purpose so he can help her escape. He's definitely getting into Anna's head. Anna's life depends on her ability to continue her training without distraction but it's getting harder and harder for her to maintain her focus. What if Peter's telling the truth? How long can she suppress her hidden hopes and dreams for a real life outside of Grange Hall? Is this a trick? Is it a test to see if she's ready to advance in her training? Or could everything she believes in be one huge pack of lies? The Declaration is a thought-provoking read and the way things are going now it may not be too far off from tomorrow's truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. It was so detailed that I felt like I was living in the book! I even had dreams I was the main character! I definatly reccomend this book to all who like sci- fi and books about the horrific future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked how the issues this society would bring into our life are addressed. Pretty cool book. I am buying the next one today.
DayBug More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Read it in one day, just couldn't put it down. The sad thing is, is that I can totally see this happening in the not so distant future. Great idea, great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If there is anyone out there who enjoys books like these, semd me a nook.friend request so maybe we can share some good books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book a lot! I can not wait to get the second one. I would say that it is one of the best books that i have read in a bit
charlotteriley13 More than 1 year ago
It's year 2140, Longevity have sustained a population that never dies of old age, or get sick either. Which means, Anna isn't suppose to be here. In 2140 no one should have children is this society that can't sustain any more growth. "The Declaration" Is a commitment in which you agree to sign it and not have children in order to live forever. Refuse, you live as in outcast. For surplus Anna, and many of the other surpluses at Grange Hall, it only gets worse. These kids (boys and girls) are living outside the law. Grange Hall is a place where kids of all ages have to live, work, and learn to maybe become a "Valuable Asset". Anna, is 15, she is working to be a Valuable Asset. So maybe her existence on this earth will be repaid. But, soon will all change... When Peter, I new boy comes to Grange Hall, it makes Anna world spin upside down. Peter brings knowledge about the outside world. He is very fond of Anna, and begs her to escape with her. Anna is not sure what to believe or what is coming in her fate. The book "The Declaration" is a superior book for the teenager audience. I gave "The Declaration" three stars, because, on the up side of this book, it was interesting, intellectual, and just fun to read! The down side of this book that it was almost predictable, and... It was not the best book in the world! I would recommend this book to a younger crowd. This book has some action, drama, and a little romance! "For centuries people have yearned to find the fountain of youth. . . The Declaration paints an unsettling picture of what might happen if we ever do" -The Wall Street Journal
FantasyFanatics More than 1 year ago
This book is about what would happen if we lived in a world where people could live forever simply by taking a small white pill every once in a while. Because people live forever and the world is over-populated already, people must agree to the Declaration-a document that states that if yo agree to the declaration, it means you are accepting the tiny white pill that lets you live forever. but in exchange, you are not allowed to have children. if people had children, the world would become way over-populated which would lead to catastrophe. If you really think about it, this book is very accurate as to what would happen. it is something that could definatley happen in a not so far away future. it really makes you think and you want to learn more about this alternate future or this new world and want to know what happens to the main characters Ana and Peter. As thier relationship grows, so does the story and it keeps you mesmerized. i reccomend this book for people who enjoy learning about an interesting new world, people who like a little romance, danger, drama, and adventure! i definatley reccomend this book for anybody. an amazing read! read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's so interesting to read sci-fi books like this, where the situation and plot is so realistic for some sort of future world that is really not so far off. I highly recommend it for any teenager. It's a great story, and you'll surely speed right through it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic series!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been reading this book well over a week now, which is insane coming from a person who regularly clears a book in 2 days. I'm barely at the half way point! It has great potential, but its just so very choppy! It switches character views suddenly, with no warning, leaving me confused. Makes me have to go back a few paragraphs to find out where I missed something. Its just a pain for me. If that was sorted out, maybe by making it new chapter or something, then it would be a tad better. With that fix, I would rate 3-4 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book and opened it to find blank pages. I see someone else also experienced this. Even though its a cheaper buy I don't appreciate having my time and money wasted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought book. Opened book. blank book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book. I liked the concept. But the problem i had was that this book could have been so much more than it was. There was just a bit too much focus on how horrible surplus children were, and the change in person was confusing sometimes (anna would be present one moment and then we'd be hearing someone elses point of view with no real transition). The author didnt take enough time to build a proper romance or even friendship between peter and anna. It was just like, oh hey im here and i know your parents. Run away with me? There was no...mystery. Then when she met her parents, it didnt seem...enough, ya know? They were happy to see her, but not happy enough. Then everything just escalated really fast and it was rushed. Like the whole peter and his grandfather thing? The author just sort of brush by that. I was thinking there HAD to be more, but nope. All in all, it was a good book, but it was missing something. It kept me interested enough to finish, but not enough that i would buy the sequel.