Posted by: Ms. Matson | July 2, 2009

The Declaration

The Declarationdeclaration
Gemma Malley
New York: Bloomsbury, 2007
Genre: Dystopian fiction
Interest Level: Middle grades
AR Level: 6.2

The Declaration is set some 100 years in the future, in a world where immortality is reality.  With the advent of Longevity drugs, humans are able to stop diseases, old age, and even death.  But endless life has a price.  Everyone on Longevity must sign The Declaration, vowing to remain childless, or face imprisonment.  “Accidents” happen; children born to Legals (those who take Longevity) are labeled as Surplus.  Because they eat up the earth’s resources that belong to Legals, they are forced into a life of servitude to Legals to atone for their very existence.  The goal of a Surplus is to Know Your Place.

The story follows Anna, a 14 year old at Grange Hall, an orphanage and training school for Surpluses.  Anna Knows Her Place, hates her parents for their selfishness, and is a model Surplus hoping for placement as a housekeeper.  That is, until Peter comes along.  He informs Anna that her parents are looking for her and he intends to break out of Grange Hall with her and reunite them.

The Declaration is great piece of dystopian literature.  Malley forces the reader to think about the purpose of life,  the purpose of death, and the ramifications of our choices.  I love books that make me think beyond myself.

This is also a book of identity crisis.  As long as she can remember, Anna has been taught to be a useful Surplus and that her parents are criminals.  Peter’s arrival turns her worldview upside down, but she doesn’t readily accept his.  Malley does a fine job of crafting Anna’s gradual character growth.

As one who never wants a good story to end, I was happy to discover a sequel, called The Resistance.  I’m anxious to read more about Anna and Peter’s life on the Outside.

The Declaration is a book I want to have on my shelf.  Heartily recommended.



  1. […] 5M4B (Jillian Dare)27. teachergirl (the dead & the gone)28. teachergirl (Enthusiasm)29. teachergirl (The Declaration)30. Seth H. (Relentless – Dean Koontz)31. Petunia (Serpent in the Garden of Dreams)32. […]

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