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The Declaration


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Tense and heartfelt, passionate and beautifully written, this is a novel with an extraordinarily gripping power For fans of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now, this powerful and subtle novel marks the debut of Gemma Malley as an exciting new voice in the world of young adult fiction Translation rights sold in 10 languages prior to publication

About the Author

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 is her first novel for a teenage audience and she is already working on the sequel. She lives in South London with her husband and baby son.


Gr 9 Up-The year is 2140, and scientists have discovered cures for illnesses and even old age, and citizens have become practically immortal through the use of longevity drugs in Gemma Malley's debut novel (Bloomsbury, 2007). As a result, this dystopian future is overcrowded and running out of natural resources. To remedy the situation, The Declaration was passed denying those who take longevity drugs the right to have offspring. Anna is a surplus, a child born in violation of the Declaration. She and other surpluses live in the bleak Grange Hall where they try to learn useful skills and are treated as sub-humans. The girl's miserable existence becomes more tolerable when a new surplus, Peter arrives. He has a plan to escape Grange Hall and wants to take Anna with him, claiming that her parents are members of an underground movement seeking to overthrow the oppressive government. A murder and a double suicide resolve the situation. The novel spends too much time focusing on the deplorable conditions at Grange Hall. The story becomes very repetitive with various beatings and fights among the surpluses. The futuristic setting features so little technological development that, with the exception of the longevity drugs, it could have been set more than 100 years earlier. Narrator Charlotte Parry captures a variety of British accents well and brings the grim novel to life.-Ryan Henry, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KY Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'Poignant, thought-provoking ... Sharing the visionary quality of books such as 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'How I Live Now', The Declaration is one of those rare books that changes the way you see the world.' Publishing News 'Stunning, thought-provoking and a book that genuinely stays with you' The Bookseller (Teenage Highlights)

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.

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