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The Declaration (Declaration, Bk 1)
The Declaration - Declaration, Bk 1
Author: Gemma Malley
It's the year 2140 and Anna shouldn't 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' d...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781599902951
ISBN-10: 1599902958
Publication Date: 8/19/2008
Pages: 320
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 9 ratings
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

GeniusJen avatar reviewed The Declaration (Declaration, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for

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.
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susieqmillsacoustics avatar reviewed The Declaration (Declaration, Bk 1) on + 1060 more book reviews
This was a really good read. It was a cruel and sad world for the young and the choices made in this dystopian society are thought-provoking and frightening. I liked the ending and felt it wound up somewhat uplifting, though. I look forward to the next.
BetsyP avatar reviewed The Declaration (Declaration, Bk 1) on + 566 more book reviews
Children's Fiction: In this future, people can live forever, taking Longevity drugs. Children are not allowed, since if no one dies, and more people born, there aren't enough resouces for everyone. Children who are born outside of The Declaration, are considered "surplus," and raised in servitude, and raised to believe that they are a drain on society, and not good enough to live. Anna has lived in a "surplus hall," for as long as she can remember, and is fully doctinated to believe everything she's been told. Her goal is to be the best surplus possible, and to be "a valuable assett." Then Peter arrives and changes her life. This is an excellant book. Chilren's literature has certainly changed. Well written, and makes you think.
crazygurllydia avatar reviewed The Declaration (Declaration, Bk 1) on
In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.

Children are all but extinct.

The world is a better place.

Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse Surplus status.

Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side youre on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you cant decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death.


I really enjoyed this book. It's exciting and in a way kind of romantic and sweet. If you really liked this book too then you should read the sequel 'The Resistance'.


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